Friday, November 14, 2008

1 Corinthians 6:7 -- On Taking Wrong

"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?"
1 Corinthians 6:7

Wow, this scripture is so interesting.  One of the worst things for me is if I feel like someone is taking advantage of my ignorance.  Like buying car things... I don't know that much, and so I usually trust the guy and buy the tires or the part.  Or when one cab driver charges me $65 for the same trip another cab driver charged me $30 for a week before.  Or, this moving company that never came, but kept my several-hundred-dollar deposit.  You start feeling "ripped off."  And the first thing I want to do when I find out that I've been ripped off is get them back!  It makes me mad that people do that to other people.  That they bold-face lie and cheat and then get away with it.  I agree that our courts are overcrowded, and people sue each other over tiny things.  I think that there are times when it is legitimate to go to court for the good of all, and to prevent others from being defrauded... but in general it is done way too much.  The question in the end is, are we supposed to let people get away with ripping us off?  ... This scripture seems to be saying yes.

In thinking about it, I don't think this means "stick around and let people abuse you."  We can get out of bad situations and stop shopping at a place with much higher prices.  I think it just means, if someone does cheat you, often it is better to just let it go than to let your heart sicken with anger and resentment.  Think about what our doubt and fear of others does to *us* ... it makes us mistrustful of others, and it encourages us to assume people are guilty until proven innocent.  For example, if you hear about an "honest" mechanic, it might surprise you... that's an oxymoron in our society.  These resentments throw us into "us against them" mode... assuming that all politicians are crooked, all car salesmen are liars... we could go farther into ethnic slurs and gender assumptions.  Perhaps it is better to be vulnerable to some lying, some cheating, some theft... so that we can see people in the best light.  When we come across people who take advantage of this, in many cases, we could let it go... and even pray for them.  They are going to have to deal with God too, and I think they could use all the help they can get.

Also, as we strive to build Zion, I think we have to realize that even people who cheat us are our brothers and sisters.  If my brother stole money from me, I'd let him have it... he probably needs it. :) And I'd pray for him, that he would just ask for it the next time, and not feel like he needs to take.  But if a guy on the street took the same amount of money, what would I do?  Would I do differently?  He is my brother too.  Maybe we need more realization that we aren't separate from "those people" ... that every time we interact with anyone, that person is a member of our family, and should be treated as such.  I obviously don't know all the answers, but something to think about today.

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