<<court case, formal action taken over a grievance>>

Society has in place a legal system where disagreements can be addressed and often resolved, though unfortunately, retaliation is often the motivation rather than justice, as the ‘victim’ considers they have been treated unfairly.

However, Christians with disputes with other believers should not resort to the secular court system to sort out their differences, church matters are to be judged within the church. If a conflict is causing a blockage in a relationship it should be confronted and reconciliation sought, maybe with input from unbiased, wise, mature believers who can advise in such circumstances. However the question is asked, “Why not suffer, having a Godlike attitude and leave it at that” (Mt 18:15-17; 1 Cor 6:1-8; 2 Cor 5:18,19). Bitterness and unforgiveness hold people in bondage, and prevent true relationship with God. They also destroy the loving attitude we should have towards our neighbour (Mt 5:23-26, 22:39).

Paul, when wrongfully accused of a crime he did not commit, used the Roman law and his citizenship to protect himself (Act 21:27-22:30). In civil matters, if necessary for the protection of our rights, it may be appropriate to pursue a legal solution provided it is done with a right motive and a pure heart. 

Many seemingly innocent and trivial incidents in life can become the cause of major disputes, unless forgiveness, tolerance, and self-control are exercised. Believe the best about others, don’t spread rumors. Overlook offences, giving people the benefit of the doubt, and if possible live at peace with all (Rom 12:18). The Bible teaches, turn the other cheek, if someone wants to sue you willingly give more

Do I deal with issues God’s way?

than what they ask, lend to those that ask, and hope for nothing in return – these are Godly mindsets that need to be developed in us (Mt 5:38-42; Lk 6:29-31,35).

By considering eternity and what we have been forgiven, the hardships of life – even the confiscation of possessions – fade into insignificance (Heb 10:34). Jesus’ teaching is to deny ourselves, to surrender to the gospel principles, for what does it profit us if we gain the whole world but end up in hell (Mk 8:34-37).

If you insist on demanding your rights ensure you are as faithful in meeting your responsibilities! 

In this life there are many unfair situations, yet love covers and heals many wounds if we choose to live in the opposite spirit by praying for those who persecuted us and returning good for evil (Mt 5:10,11,44; Rom 12:17,21; 1 Pet 3:9).

See also: conflict, dispute, forgive/forgiveness, issues, justice, opposite spirit, resolve/resolution, responsible/responsibility, rights, unfair.