Christian Walk -
If you get in a car accident, is there a biblical way to resolve this issue? In this country, you can hardly resolve the matter without suing someone. I’m trying to avoid suing the other party.
So, your question is “is it okay to sue somebody?” It’s a heart issue. You have
in your heart a desire to avoid litigation. You have in your heart a desire to
resolve the matter without suing the person.
That’s where you start. You start by having a desire to try to reconcile it some
other way, which it sounds like you have. You don’t really want to sue this
person. But if you’re forced to, step number two is, you try to resolve it
through the church that you go to. These matters should be resolved in the
assembly of believers where both people are submitted to the counsel that would
be given through the Bible and through the Word of God.
Now, if you have only one of those people that are willing to follow the Bible
and one of them that are not willing to follow the Bible, then we have a
problem. God did not give us the court system to punish people and to try to
take vengeance on people, but He does give us the court system to protect the
innocent. And if you’re the innocent party and you’ve been wronged, then God
does provide a way in our justice system in America to go to court and to right
whatever has been wronged. It shouldn’t be the first option, but it should be an
option after you have exhausted other options.
So first you make sure in your heart that you don’t really want to sue him; you
want to resolve it personally, one-on-one. Then you to go your church and try to
resolve it that way. And then, number three, if it’s still irresolvable, then
you take it to the court. 1 Corinthians chapter 6 says, “It’s better to be
wronged than to go to court to take somebody to court.” But he was talking about
a court system that was much different than the court system in our nation. Our
court system is the fairest court system that has ever existed in the world. Not
that it’s totally fair and not that it’s always right, but it’s a fair system.
And so, in the Bible, it wasn’t necessarily a fair system that was offered in
the Roman society and in Roman culture. The Bible was fair, but the culture in
which the Bible was written wasn’t fair and the culture that we’re in is fairer
than that culture.
So, avoid it if you can, but it’s not against the law of God to pursue legal
protection if you’re an innocent party that has been wronged by somebody who
will not listen to God’s Word. Some matters you’re not going to be able to be in
a position to resolve it and then you do have to handle it through lawyers and
through legal representation. It’s not our choice, but when it’s thrust upon us
and it’s dealing with matters of expertise, we have to get the experts that are
in that field. But we have to temper them with mercy and grace as well.
If it’s the only recourse that you have, then do it and do it with kindness and
send the message to the insurance company that you’d like to get it resolved
outside of court, but you understand that if you have to go down that path, then
that’s the path that you have to take. Don’t be condemned about it.
Christian Walk -
My concern is about Christians filing lawsuits. The reason I’m asking is because I’m struggling with a current issue. My grandmother passed away some years ago due to complications in surgery and it was discovered that it was the fault of the doctor. My family has since filed a malpractice lawsuit against the doctor. And we’re currently in court and the case should be settled some time this week. The reason why I’m struggling is because my grandmother was over 75 years old. She was saved and from what I knew, she had a strong relationship with the Lord. And I felt like her body just needed rest and He called her home. But then, on the other hand, I feel like the doctor should be held responsible, but I don’t know if millions of dollars is the responsibility or his liability. So, I was wondering if there is a biblical perspective. I’m just struggling with how to feel about this situation.
That’s a great question. First of all, I think it’s great that you’re asking the
question because it shows that you’re trying to protect your heart from just
falling into greed or doing things for the wrong motive or the wrong reason.
I think that you answered your own question in a balanced way by saying, “On the
one hand, I know that she was ready to go. Her body was no longer in the best
condition and she’s saved and she’s in Heaven now and that’s a blessing. But,
that doesn’t excuse the irresponsible part of the doctor and the doctor should
be held accountable for that.” You certainly could say, “That’s okay.” You could
forgive him and still hold him responsible because it’s the insurance company
and all of that that goes into it.
Now, we’re not interested in frivolous lawsuits and the Bible says that you
should settle all matters as much as you can inside of the church. But the fact
is that if you can’t settle the matter within the church because maybe the
doctor is not a church member or you don’t go to the same church as him, so
there are legitimate reasons why things like that cannot be resolved in the
church. So that’s why we have to take them sometimes to the court system that
our society is under because we live under the laws of this government. We have
to submit to the laws of this government. One of those laws is if a doctor is
responsible for taking somebody’s life, that that doctor needs to be held
accountable and held responsible, not out of spite, not out of retaliation and
not out of anger or greed, but out of knowing that there may be another 75 year
old woman out there who’s not saved who that doctor could do that same thing to
and instead of saving that woman’s life, she ends up dying and going to hell
because she wasn’t saved. Therefore, by helping to hold the doctor responsible
at this point, you could save somebody’s spiritual life and their salvation.