If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers! —I Corinthians 6:1-6

How often have you heard people say, “Who made you judge?” or “Don’t judge me!” It is true that we cannot “expose the motives of the heart.” Only our Lord knows and “will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God” (I Corinthians 4:5). But we surely are to make judgments according to actions contrary to what God has to say! This is the responsibility of the church that is not to be abrogated.

These disputes that the Lord’s people are to handle are called “trivial cases” compared to their involvement in the future judging of “the world” and “angels!” Paul says of these “trivial” cases— “Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?” There are times when the Lord’s people are to make “judgments” and need to be faithful in doing so as part of service to our Lord. This is clear from God’s Word.

Unfortunately these “disputes” or “trivial cases” do not take place many times when they should for various reasons. It is easier not to handle conflict and pass judgment, but the longer term ramifications of not being obedient in this area can be very destructive. Just look at the situation in First Corinthians chapter 5. It was a mess and a terrible testimony because “judgment” was not made. These judgments are to be made for the benefit for all in the church and not for destructive purposes. That does not mean that mean it will be easy…

Dear Father, please help me to be faithful in this area and not skirt it when something needs to be dealt with. May I do so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it!

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