Leslie M. John
“Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing” (Matthew 5:25-26)
It is so great a teaching from Lord Jesus Christ that not only we should reconcile with our adversaries as quickly as possible, but that we should also not harbor malice in our hearts against others. If we allow such malicious thoughts to continue in our hearts they grow and steal our peace of mind and spoil our health, as well.
The Lord says as soon as we know that our adversary has some issue with us, it is imperative that we settle the differences as quickly as possible; otherwise, he would take us to the court of law. If such things happens, and if are before the judge, it is hard for us to get out of trouble until we pay the last penny of our daily earnings. (Greek word from which ‘penny’ or ‘farthing’ is translated is ‘kodrantes’ [Hebrew Strong’s number: 2835]); it is a Roman coin worth about twenty cents which is a day’s wages of a laborer (source: International Standard Biblical Encyclopedia).
As far as Christians are concerned it is unbiblical to go the court of law against someone else, but when someone else takes a believer to the court, then it becomes inevitable to defend or to face the consequences.
Apostle Paul explains the theme in greater detail than we could. Paul says that even before the sun sets we should reconcile with our adversary,
“But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. 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 6:6-7)
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil”. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
If we fail to reconcile with our adversary before we are taken to the judge we will be put to shame or pay the penalty unless the case against us is false. The consequences of harboring evil thoughts in our minds against anyone increases, which obviously affects not only our mental peace, but also our health.
The Wiseman, Solomon the king, said…
“Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame” (Proverbs 25:8)