Summary: Two wrongs never make a right!
This week I was reading a book when I came across a fascinating legal case which I thought I`d share with you. This case involved two brothers whose father had died. In his will he gave equal shares of his estate to each of the brothers, but one of them, operating a legal fiddle, had got his hands upon the lot. As you might think, the other brother was furious and threatened to sue him. He went to see the family Solicitor(i.e. an English Lawyer), saying “I`m very angry about what he`s done and I don`t think he should get away with it – I want to take him to the cleaners. You know us both – what do YOU think”.
Now I know that Lawyers today have a growing reputation for stringing things out to get the highest fees possible from their clients, but what THIS Solicitor advised was very surprising. “What you`re feeling is quite natural” he said, “But think about it – if you take your brother to court inevitable consequences will follow from your actions:
First:You will destroy any chance of a future relationship with your brother…… I know that he`s in the wrong morally, but is MONEY more important to you than your relationship with him
Second: You will destroy yourself – you will be consumed with anger, that you will never have any peace.
Third: I know that you are a Christian. Have you considered that, if you do this, you will destroy another relationship one which is even more important than the one you have with your brother. I`m talking about your relationship with God. Are you prepared to let this case poison everything that you vale so highly?”
The young man thought about it…… It was true that, ever since the start of this sordid affair, he`d been full of anger – self pity even. He couldn`t think of anything else but his brother`s behaviour. He`d had great plans for his share of that money, and he`d been swindled out of his future………….. but what the Solicitor said challenged him. “WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT?” Is it the things you can buy with the money, or your relationship with your brother. “WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT?”
AND, “WHAT DO YOU TRUST MOST?”. The security this money would bring, or the security of your relationship with God? “WHAT DO YOU TRUST MOST?”.
It was a chastened young man who listened to what his Solicitor went on to say:
“This case is a challenge to you. It`s making you examine your values – who or what really comes first in your life – what you really stand for.
Of course, you need money to live on, but can you really say that your life so far has been poverty stricken – when have you ever gone hungry or thirsty, or without clothes to wear, or shoes on your feet?
Do you think that winning this case will make you happy?
Do you think that a fine home, expensive clothes, and a comfortable life will bring you satisfaction? These things are never enough – you`ll always want more.
Let me give you some advice – find a cause to live for – put yourself into it, heart and soul – make it the centre of your life – then you`ll have peace”.
Well, that`s the story – what do you think of it?
Who was this young man, and who was his Solicitor? What book did I read it in? Of course it was the Bible. The young man`s name isn`t mentioned, but his Solicitor`s is – HIS Name is Jesus.
I wonder if you`ve ever faced a situation like this? I have! The details weren`t the same – nor was it money that was involved. I won`t go into all the ins and outs of it – just tell you it was a relationship, someone I just didn`t get on with, to put it mildly – in fact someone I hated and who hated me, until the day that God made me face up to what was happening between us, and I saw that this hatred was destroying me – destroying ME and destroying my relationship with God. God challenged me to forgive him and I didn`t want to do it – even worse, He challenged me to ask the man to forgive ME, and I wanted to do that even less – it was humiliating.
But the Solicitor, (the Counsellor, God`s Counsellor whose other Name is the Holy Spirit) convinced me that I was in the wrong and that I really had to choose between clinging on to the destructive urge to hurt this man or to begin to tread the road to reconciliation, so I did it – I went to say “I forgive you, and will you forgive me” – with what result? The man shut his door in my face.