Why, the very fact of your having lawsuits with one another at all is a defect (a defeat, an evidence of positive moral loss for you). Why not rather let yourselves suffer wrong and be deprived of what is your due? Why not rather be cheated (defrauded and robbed)?
When any of you has a grievance against another, aren’t you ashamed to bring the matter to be settled before a pagan court instead of before the church? Don’t you know that Christians will one day judge the world? And if you are to judge the world do you consider yourselves incapable of settling such infinitely smaller matters? Don’t you also know that we shall judge the very angels themselves—how much more then matters of this world only! In any case, if you find you have to judge matters of this world, why choose as judges those who count for nothing in the church? I say this deliberately to rouse your sense of shame. Are you really unable to find among your number one man with enough sense to decide a dispute between one and another of you, or must one brother resort to law against another and that before those who have no faith in Christ! It is surely obvious that something must be seriously wrong in your church for you to be having lawsuits at all. Why not let yourself be wronged or cheated? For when you go to law against your brother you yourself do him wrong, for you cheat him of Christian love and forgiveness.
These court cases are a black eye on your community. Wouldn’t it be far better to just take it, to let yourselves be wronged and forget it? All you’re doing is providing fuel for more wrong, more injustice, bringing more hurt to the people of your own spiritual family.
Don’t you realize that when you drag another believer into court you’re providing the evidence that you are already defeated? Wouldn’t it be better to accept the fact that someone is trying to cheat and take advantage of you, and simply choose the high road? At times it is better to just accept injustice and even to let someone take advantage of you, rather than to expose our conflicts publicly before unbelievers.
And now trespass is always among you [Now forsooth trespass is all-gates in you], for ye have dooms among you. Why rather take ye not wrong? why rather suffer ye not deceit [why not more suffer ye fraud, or deceit]?
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