Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

Q: What does Matthew 5:25 mean when it says agree with your adversary quickly, especially when they might be in the wrong?

A: Romans 12:18 tells us, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” This includes our adversary. It is true our adversary may be in the wrong, but as believers we are in a ministry of reconciliation and must choose the excellent way of love and righteousness by turning the other cheek, walking in forgiveness, walking our life out in grace towards others, and make sure we are not the ones fueling any fire when it comes to conflict with others (Proverbs 26:21; Matthew 5:39; 6:14-15; 1 Corinthians 12:31-13; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

It is important to keep the heavenly perspective in mind when it comes to conflict with this world. It is the flesh that has no regard to the type of division and trouble it leaves behind by keeping strife going and it is for this reason that flesh and blood with not inherit the kingdom of God. However, a wise man realistically looks down the road and sees the possible fallout that might prove to be irreversible and will avoid it, not only for the sake of their testimony but for the sake of others who are innocent that might suffer the greatest fallout (Proverbs 22:3; 27:12; 1 Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 5:19-21). Wisdom will never be counted a fool by dying on a mount that has been erected by pride, selfishness, and foolishness.

As Christians we must choose to be bigger about the attitude, and conduct, we adopt in conflicts with others than the one who is the instigator. We do this by keeping in mind our Lord and His great ordeal during His great night of testing, trials, darkness, and death. He was silent before His accusers on our behalf. He was innocent, but He took the beatings and allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross on our behalf. In the height of His suffering, He made this statement, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

Do people who cause conflict know what they are doing? Sometimes they are hurting, angry, and desperate which can make them clueless as to the pain they are causing others. They are striking out like a wounded creature. We are called to minister to such people, not judge or fight with them.

The other aspect is that such conflict can end up in the court of the world as suggested by Matthew 5:25. The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6 clearly points out that Christians should not be letting the courts of this world judge a matter that they themselves should rightly judge in order to make sound, wise judgments about how to properly handle a matter. As Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians 6:3, “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life.”

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The Goal of Gentle Shepherd Ministries is to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to make disciples in compliance with the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19).

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