Question: If something happens to us that is wrong, when should we pursue legal action vs. let God work?
Scripture presents two categories, relative to the issue of lawsuits:
1.) Legal Action Against Unbelievers
- Believers should be cautious and seek counseling and wisdom before suing (Prov 25:8-10; Rom 12:18)
- Every effort should be made to settle out of court (Matt 5:25)
- We must pursue a humble, selfless attitude, even when being treated unjustly (Matt 5:40)
2.) Lawsuits against another Christian
- Christians must not bring a lawsuit or court action against a brother or sister (1 Cor 6:1-7)
- Christians will be granted the ability to judge the world and heavenly beings ( 1 Cor 6:2-3) and, therefore, are able to judge the issues of this life
- Non-believers passing judgment between believers brings shame and dis-honor to Christ and His Church
“Does any one of you,when he has a case against neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?…Actually then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?” (1 Cor 6:1, 7)
It is clear from Scripture that lawsuits between believers is prohibited. So we know God’s will about this issue.
Participation in lawsuits against unbelievers should be undertaken with the greatest of care, prayer, biblical inquiry and the advice of trusted, mature believers. Our greatest goal should be to trust and honor Christ and to bring Him glory. If, after careful and diligent consideration of the above teachings of Scripture and counsel, the proposed lawsuit passes these important filters, then it may be entered into with caution, respect, charity and humility (Acts 25:1-2; Rom 13).