And 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?
The day is coming when the world is going to stand before a jury made up of Christians. If someday you are going to rule on the world's fate, wouldn't it be a good idea to practice on some of these smaller cases?
Why, we're even going to judge angels! So why not these everyday affairs?
As these disagreements and wrongs surface, why would you ever entrust them to the judgment of people you don't trust in any other way?
I say this as bluntly as I can to wake you up to the stupidity of what you're doing. Is it possible that there isn't one levelheaded person among you who can make fair decisions when disagreements and disputes come up? I don't believe it.
And here you are taking each other to court before people who don't even believe in God! How can they render justice if they don't believe in the God of justice?
These court cases are an ugly blot 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 this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don't care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex,
use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don't qualify as citizens in God's kingdom.
A number of you know from experience what I'm talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you've been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)