1Cor. 6:7 ¶ In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?
1Cor. 6:8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—and believers at that.
God’s intent was that the Christian community would reflect the love of Christ. As people grew spiritually they were to become a greater reflection of the love of Christ to the world. Paul calls these laws suits a defeat, or a defect. Why? Because it meant that they were not living as the victorious followers of Christ that they could have been. By giving into legal action against one another they were failing as followers of Christ. The question ultimately boils down to what is more important? Obviously for Paul to be like Christ was the most important thing in life. Jesus came into human flesh so that we could be like him. We are to follow after him and allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us to transform us into his likeness. That is the goal for humanity and when we fall short, then we are being defeated.
To have lawsuits means that we are pushing for our own rights. Did Jesus? Wasn’t Jesus wronged and defrauded? Yes, he was. But not only are these Corinthians fighting for their own “rights” they are turning around and treating others the same way. In this they are defeated for they are not being the people of God and their relationship with God and others is defective.
I mentioned it yesterday and I’ll mention it again today. Jesus’ plan was that his followers to be filled with the Holy Spirit and in this, to be filled to overflowing with the love of Christ. The world was to look at the Christians and notice how they loved one another. This was the victorious Christian life.
Sadly when Christians do not work at their relationships with one another, the world notices. There is great defeat which hurts the individuals and the family of faith. This is usually the result of self-centeredness when we demand our own “rights.”
We must work at our relationship with God and with one another so that the world does not look on us and see defective relationships. This becomes a defeat, not only for us personally, but for Christianity. We are part of a living and breathing community of faith and the world is desperate to see this faith in action. Not only in action, but anxious to see that it really does work!
May God help us to be willing to endure hardships for the sake of the kingdom. May we view these as opportunities for the love of Christ to flow through us and reveal his power victoriously in relationships. Then the world will look at us and say, “see how they love one another.”
Lord, help us in our relationships today. Amen.