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Willing To Be Wronged

1 Corinthians 6:7-8
The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. (NIVUK)

The Kingdom of God does not work like worldly power regimes. God does not have to prove anything, trap people into serving Him, or frighten them to obey Him. He already has everything, and He wins people into His home by loving them. Along the way, however, He allows apparently unfair things to trouble His people; but He is weaving them into a pattern, which makes perfect sense to Him – and one day will make sense to us too (Romans 8:28).
The believers in Corinth still had the worldly mind-set that they must always get justice, otherwise they would lose face or lose financially: they should even take other Christians to court if they did not pay their debts or had caused them injury. They were strong on their rights but weak in their relationships. Was it not more important to let God vindicate (Hebrews 10:30) than to fight for personal justification, dishonouring God and His family?
As followers of Jesus, they should have understood that He was treated unfairly but never complained or demanded His rights (Isaiah 53:7). Eventually, after an unjust trial with false accusations, He was crucified and died in agony; but He had secured eternal life for all who believe on Him. The Corinthian way of demanding justice now, interfered with God's plan and cheated God's grace. In satisfying their greed they became spiritually bankrupt, lost precious fellowship with their brothers and sisters and insulted their Lord.
It is a mark of God's grace in a believer that they are willing to be wronged, rather than demand their rights. If we believe that we are in control of our destinies then we will do all we can to protect ourselves and get justice. But if we believe that the Lord is in control, that He loves us and has planned an eternal destiny for us, then we will be willing to be wronged, cheated and defamed (2 Corinthians 6:4-10). We will forgive those who sin against us (Matthew 6:14), lend to those who cannot repay us, and serve those who will never thank us. All that comes from knowing that the Lord holds us safely in His big picture of the future, and meanwhile He has planned for us to demonstrate His character in a grasping and self-obsessed world. Being willing to be wronged is not fatalism; it is faith.

Loving heavenly Father. Thank You for allowing Jesus to be wronged so badly in order that we might have eternal life. Forgive me for my desire to be seen to be right and to secure what I think are my rights. Please help me to understand that following Jesus involves being misunderstood, slandered, cheated and hurt – because He is doing a far bigger work in my life and in the lives of others around me than I could ever realise. Help me to allow You to use me however You will so that You will have the glory and I will gain Your reward. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams