Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Calvin: loving an adversary

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
    When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!
    —1 Corinthians 6:1-3 (ESV)
    A lawsuit, however just, can never be rightly prosecuted by any man, unless he treat his adversary with the same love and good will as if the business under controversy were already amicably settled and composed. Perhaps someone will interpose here that such moderation is so uniformly absent from any lawsuit that it would be a miracle if any such were found. Indeed, I admit that, as the customs of these times go, an example of an upright litigant is rare; but the thing itself, when not corrupted by the addition of anything evil, does not cease to be good and pure.
    ... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I [1559], tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, IV.xx.18, p.651-652 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 6:1-8; Matt. 5:25-26,41,44-46; Luke 12:58-59; 14:31-32; Jas. 4:1-3
Quiet time reflection:
    Show me, Lord, how I must love my enemies.
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