Read 1 Corinthians 6:1-11
We disagree with others at various levels and with various responses. Some of our disagreements seem to be over trivial things and we are able to just dismiss them from our minds and move on. At the other end of the spectrum, however, are those seemingly HUGE disagreements at the core of who we are. These are the ones that cause us to put our boxing gloves on and start swinging.
It is that latter type of disagreement that Paul addresses in today’s reading. Believers were experiencing that kind of dispute with one another in the Corinthian church. That happens, you know. I have observed it and I am guessing you have too. There are disagreements about joint business ventures, about services rendered, about payment due. There are disputes over possessions and properties, about wills and inheritance.
What should two believers do when they experience that kind of dispute? Thankfully, those in Corinth were not donning boxing gloves and entering the ring. But neither was their hiring of lawyers and entering into courtrooms the proper course of action either. This public display of Christian conflict was to their shame. This judgment granted to unbelievers was contrary to God’s plan. It would have been better to just swallow hard and be cheated and mistreated.
Now, if/when you experience disputes at that kind of level…disagreements that can neither be overlooked individually nor resolved together…the right course of action is indeed to invite the involvement of others. But make sure that the right “others” are included. Seek out godly, impartial, discerning people from the body of Christ, who are able to help you find solutions. Allow them to do more than to weigh in through opinions and suggestions. Up front, give them the permission to be directive in next steps.
Don’t forget that unity in the body of Christ is of such importance that Jesus prayed for just that in some of the last hours prior to His crucifixion. He prayed that we would be one (Jn. 17:20-23). This unity is one of the strongest evangelistic tools at our disposal. When it is missing, we must take right steps to restore it!