Dear New Hope,
Nobody likes injustice. We want what we deserve, and we want wrongdoers to pay. We want victory, and we want people on the other side of the aisle to experience defeat. The desire for justice and equality are God-given qualities, hardwired into us by a just God.
But there are times when God calls His followers to accept injustice and move on. The Messiah actually taught his followers this when He said to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, and if someone sues you for the shirt off your back, give them your coat as well. Such a willingness to accept injustice and allow others to “win” when we “lose” goes against logic and rubs us the wrong way. But it is one of the many ways Christ calls us to live.
Such a willingness to accept injustice and trust God is not without biblical precedent. In the Old Testament, Isaac did it in Genesis 26. He and the Jewish people discovered water wells in the desert that had been dug by his father, Abraham. This water was a matter of life and death. Furthermore, these wells legally and historically belonged to Isaac. But when they found the first one, enemies quarreled with them, saying “The water is ours.” They probably even threatened legal or military action. So, Isaac moved on. They found another well, but enemies once again quarreled over it, claiming that the water was theirs. So, Isaac moved on again. Finally, God provided a well and a place to live and Isaac declared: “Now the Lord has made room for us and we shall be fruitful in the land.” Isaac could have fought over the first 2 wells, claiming mineral rights or boundary issues. But Isaac trusted his case to a sovereign Creator who is able to bless His children in spite of injustice.
In the New Testament, followers of Jesus accepted injustice in places like Hebrews 10:34 where they were being exposed to legal prejudice and discrimination. Yet, the writer of Hebrews commends them because they “joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.” In other words, instead of taking the injustice “downtown” to argue their case, they joyfully looked “uptown” to their Father in heaven. Imagine how backward most of us live today. Imagine how most people in America would respond to someone illegally plundering our property! The court systems have a role, yes. Yet, there are times in Scripture when God calls His people to accept injustice and look up to heaven, trusting Him with our case.
Are you experiencing injustice? Are there areas where you are legally in the right but are not sure how to respond? Do you have a difference with another believer over a trivial issue that needs resolution?
I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 and Matthew 5 in preparation for Sunday. And then join us at 10 am Sunday morning as we explore Paul’s Course Correction for Corinth over the issue of lawsuits and settling differences in the church.
You are loved,