|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-8 Christians should not contend with one another, for they are brethren. This, if duly attended to, would prevent many law-suits, and end many quarrels and disputes. In matters of great damage to ourselves or families, we may use lawful means to right ourselves, but Christians should be of a forgiving temper. Refer the matters in dispute, rather than go to law about them. They are trifles, and may easily be settled, if you first conquer your own spirits. Bear and forbear, and the men of least skill among you may end your quarrels. It is a shame that little quarrels should grow to such a head among Christians, that they cannot be determined by the brethren. The peace of a man's own mind, and the calm of his neighbourhood, are worth more than victory. Lawsuits could not take place among brethren, unless there were faults among them.
Verse 7. - Now therefore; rather, Nay more, already. Utterly; rather, generally, "altogether," "looking at the question as a whole." A fault. The word means "a defect," or possibly "a loss" (Romans 11:12, "the diminishing"). Your going to law is an inferiority or deficiency; you ought to know of "a more excellent way." Why do ye not rather take wrong? Strange as such advice would sound to heathens, who prided themselves on the passionate resentment of injuries as though it were a virtue, this had been the distinct teaching of our Lord; "Resist not evil" (Matthew 5:39).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you,.... Or a "defect": a want of brotherly love, or there would be no occasion to go to law at all; a want of wisdom and conduct, or proper persons would be pitched upon, and chosen out from among themselves to be arbitrators and judge between them; and a want of care among their leaders, who else would have pointed out to them such a method of accommodation, and not have suffered them to go the lengths they did:
because ye go to law one with another; which would never be, was there not a declension among you, a decay of your first love, and of the power of religion and true godliness:
why do ye not rather take wrong why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? than to go to law, especially before unjust persons and unbelievers, taking the advice of Christ, Matthew 5:40 It is more advisable to a believer to suffer wrong than to go to law with any man, and especially with a brother. It is a petition in the Jewish liturgy (g),
"let it please thee, O Lord God, and the God of my fathers, to deliver me this day, and every day---from hard judgment, and a severe adversary, , "whether he be a Son of the covenant, or whether he be not a son of the covenant".''
(g) Seder Tephillot, fol. 3. 2. Ed. Basil. fol. 5. 2. Ed. Amst.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. utterly a fault—literally, "a shortcoming" (not so strong as sin). Your going to law at all is a falling short of your high privileges, not to say your doing so before unbelievers, which aggravates it.
rather take wrong—(Pr 20:22; Mt 5:39, 40); that is, "suffer yourselves to be wronged."
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