“How dare you take each other to court! When you think you have been wronged, does it make any sense to go before a court that knows nothing of God’s ways instead of a family of Christians?”
1 Cor 6:1 EHP
Some years ago a discipline problem arose amongst a group of Church leaders. The person at the centre of the problem was asked to leave the meeting and the members, all Christian people of long standing, discussed the issue. In a long discussion it emerged that whilst there was some evidence of poor behaviour on the part of the person concerned, there was no incontrovertible proof of misdemeanour. Concern was expressed that nothing must be done that might cause embarrassment to the member involved. People, none of whom had experienced such a situation before, spoke with sensitivity and caring for the person. All were aware too of the damage that might be done to the church if it was not handled properly. In the end it was decided that the person should not lose his position, but would not be allowed to exercise the normal duties of the office, and was given time to resolve the problem. After the meeting ended, one senior leader said to the chairman, “That was amazing. I wouldn’t have expected such maturity from those people. I’d trust my life in their hands if necessary”. Of course, not all Christian leadership groups would be as wise and as caring as that.
Taking each other to court when they could have worked on problems within the church was only one of the problems for Paul at Corinth. His reaction has been handed down and becomes a call to Christians to help instead of hounding each other.
Lord, help us to handle our disputes with care and wisdom.