Do Not Sue the Brethren, But Hold Them Accountable.

Here is a point of debate for many Christians on handling business issues between Believers and non-believers: what does the Bible mean when it comes to dealing with dishonesty, being unethical, and other unacceptable behaviors? Here are verses that deal with this issue.

1 Corinthians 6:1–11 (KJV 1900)

1Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

What are these verses telling us about bad behavior and how to deal with it?

The Bible directs us not to sue each other in the secular courts, but it does not tell us to allow dishonest, unethical, and illegal dealings to go unchallenged. If we as Christians do not hold each other accountable to Biblical behavior then we will be pulled under by the tides of bad behavior. Our businesses cannot sustain being taken advantage of by dishonesty, whether from non-Christians or Christians.

As Christians, we have options for how to resolve issues with others. We can first talk with the other party and be clear on what has taken place. If we are certain that the situation cannot be resolved one-on-one, then we can seek the guidance and mediation of a Christian mediator—a person rooted in God’s Word, wisdom and ways—who will seek to resolve the matter objectively and would be binding to both sides. The final option is that it does end up in the secular courts where God has allowed a governmental system to be established to deal with worldly matters.

Whatever your issue, take it first to God in prayer ask for wisdom, the ability to forgive the act, and for direction in how to deal with the situation. We are each accountable for our own actions, but we are also accountable for holding to God’s statutes and commandments. Furthermore we are tasked with the responsibility to hold each other accountable, correcting, guiding and bringing each other back to Godly behavior when one of us slips up.


Author:  Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
All Rights Reserved

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