Sometimes you come across believers that are not credible, neither do they display any integrity despite their role in church, it makes me feel foolish as if I lack discernment. Is it part of the sacrifice of the kingdom? Overlooking debts that people owe you? The scriptures says not to take Christians to court.
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The through-line throughout scripture (old and new) seems to be that one should freely help their neighbors with what they need, whether it be money or goods. While they may repay it, give as if they will not, or cannot. In fact, it is often better to give than to loan. If you do loan, then do not charge interest, and forgive the debt before letting bad blood set in. In fact, us forgiving others debts (whether physical money or spiritual sin) is mandatory if we ask God to forgive our debts. (Matt 6:12, Matt 18: 21-35). When we begrudge another for being in debt to us - no matter how many times they have done it before, then we are playing the part of the wicked servant who has forgotten that God forgave our infinite debt. Also, we are to forgive freely each time - and forgiveness scrapes the debt out as if it never was. Other people's spiritual lives are between them and God - we cannot control them or fix what we think is wrong with them. We can only support them in their spiritual growth. Here are just a few things scripture says about giving & loaning: 1) When we are generous, it should not be for the prospect of future repayment. "Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." Luke 14:12-14 2: We should have'all things in common' with other believers. That is, if they have a need and we have extra, we should be willing to share. We are just stewards of the money and goods God has blessed us with, and so should share freely with those in the church who are needy. We should also be generous to unbelievers. "All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:44-47 3) Don't just forgive wrongs, be generous in return and show love. Don't expect repayment. Jesus has called us to a higher love than being good to those who are good to us, or lending only to those who can/will repay. "Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back."....". And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full." (Luke 6:27-8)) 4) Don't charge a fellow believer or the poor interest, not even 1% (Deut 12:19-20, Exek 18:13, Prov 28:8, Psalm 15:5, Neh 5:6-13) 5) Do not withdraw aid because we will need to forgive them the debt in the future if they do not repay " Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart... -Deut 5:7-15 6) Sow generously "..Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else..." (II Cor 9:6-15, Prov 11:24) Other scripture addresses prioritizing giving to believers, not making distinctions in the church between different income levels, etc.
If I was in this situation, if the person was a proclaimed Christian that actively attended Church, then I would probably follow the guidelines set forth by Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17 If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector." Basically, if this person claims to be a Christian, then they should desire to be more like Christ and to have character and integrity. Therefore, I think approaching their sinful actions against you in this manner would be appropriate. If you were however, swindled by a non-believer, then I personally would confront them, let them know that what they did was wrong, that you are saddened by their lack of character and integrity, and that going forward you will never do any business with them again. But no, I would probably not take them to court.
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