Jesus said, “Go and make it up quickly with your adversary who brings a lawsuit against you, while you are still with him on the way to court. Otherwise, your adversary may hand you over to the judge, the judge to his assistant, and you will be thrown into prison.”
— Matthew 5:25 (USC)
Fear of God is such a wonderful thing!
It compels us to consider the many situations and circumstances of life we can find ourselves in; to ensure the place of safety, which is wisdom, becomes the place of our choice.
If we are to insist that a certain outcome be surrendered to the truth – that our way becomes God’s way – we may feel imprisoned initially, but we are most likely vindicated later. Again, it’s wisdom to put the Kingdom and God’s righteousness first. By faith, we are blessed with God-sight; the knowledge of the Lord’s faithfulness.
When we are on the throne of our own lives, however, we are not able to see that which might easily dethrone us. Such is the folly of thinking life can be cajoled around our selfish ends, we are quickly blinded to the freight train of indifference and paradoxical justice known to life.
When we, otherwise, see matters more truthfully – the things that might turn suddenly against us – we are readily into the mode of compromising our pride for a safer, wiser humility. Compromise, in this view of things, is a vast and sweeping wisdom.
Self-righteousness is a stumbling block to the so-called wise. They imagine they have every answer, for they never doubt their heart or their integrity. Of course, the paradox of humility means that a humble are often given cause to doubt themselves in the context of their relationships. They are always thinking about others’ perceptions and are willing to adjust their approach, which others generally appreciate.
It is hardly ever a good idea for Christians to enter legal proceedings against one another. It is never usually a good idea, either, for a Christian to settle their differences in court.
It is always better to go and reconcile; to prove that love can be the difference.
The heart of the one after Christ is not interested in being right at the expense of others having, therefore, to be wrong. Add to this heart of the wisdom, the fear of the Lord; by the sheer fact that life is too unpredictable to bank on things always working out our way.
Wisdom accounts for the possibilities, not just the probabilities.
QUESTIONS in REVIEW:
1. Think of a time in your life when matters backfired – you thought you had the answer, but it didn’t work out that way. What did you learn from such a situation that you now most readily apply?
2. How is the condition of your heart regarding matters of forgiveness and reconciliation? Do you allow God’s Spirit to humble you sufficiently that issues are able to be resolved amicably?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.