Sermon Illustrations

“Running Home to Mama!” Matthew 5:25-26 Key verse(s): 25:“‘Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking your to court.’”

There is a point of departure where disagreement becomes conflict. It’s that point of departure that is most critical in the process of making friends or discovering enemies.

Did you know that the average criminal case in our federal court system has a waiting period of nearly three years? The average civil court case is even longer at three and a half years. The ironic thing about justice is that the system we have set up to deal with it, is inherently unjust. How can it be just when our Constitution calls for the “efficient” application of justice and we continue to make justice one of the most inefficient of all matters as concerns the “pursuit of happiness”? It seems that our drive to be fair has created a acme of unfairness that only the strong and empowered can scale. How is it that we have arrived at such a glut of wrong in the presence of so much promise of right?

Some Christians blame this contradiction on the fact that sin has prevailed and the more sin there is, the more conflict will result. The more conflict, the more adjudication and so on. Indeed sin is waxing in the world. Of this there can be no doubt. The prince of this world, Satan, is working overtime in these “last days”. Disagreements and conflict, the natural results of sinful living, are on the rise and our court dockets are alarming proof of this. More and more often when disagreements arise the disagreement is not resolved on the personal level as was once the norm. Now we have the courts and, like running home to Mama when threatened, people are turning in larger and larger numbers every year to the skirts of justice. And her skirts are very full.

When I was a boy there were two ways to settle an argument. You could either face it now or face it later. Simply, there was always the opportunity to work it out personally on the spot or let someone else handle it and hope that it would be resolved eventually. That someone else was usually Mom or Dad; although occasionally a friend might do. The fact is, however, there was a code of “juvenile” justice that called for personal resolution over parental if at all possible. “Running home to Mama” was not a badge of courage. Any kid that couldn’t resolve the problem on his own was considered a sissy and there was nothing worse than being branded a coward by ones friends.

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