As a former Grand Rapids small business lawyer and litigator, I have seen firsthand that we live in a “fallen and broken” world – which means at times: (i) we don’t communicate clearly and completely with each other, so even though we think we are on the same page, we aren’t; (ii) we have “convenient” memories, which leads to a distorted memory (in our favor) of what really happened; and (iii) we are so caught up in making money or winning (at the expense of the other) that we rationalize and convince ourselves that it is acceptable to mislead others or break our promises. Sometimes, it can be downright ugly and disgusting. But, such is the world we live in. However, we can bring light to this darkness. Here is my counsel:
When you are “wronged” by another, everyone’s initial reaction is to get angry, to cry out in our soul “that’s not fair/right/just”. This is the sense of justice, of right/wrong, and of good/evil that God has given all of us. So this initial reaction is God’s reaction – thus, it is OK. But, what we do with that sense of justice can affect the rest of our life and the lives of others.
Today, we live in a season of God’s mercy. His mercy should triumph over justice. Otherwise, all of us would end up in hell, not heaven. In other words, we should forgive, not execute judgment. But, the day is coming when justice will triumph over mercy when we all come before the judgment throne – and the righteous in Christ shall be welcomed by Father, while those who rejected the Savior will be judged.
Jesus told us that if we don’t forgive the sins of others, then neither can our Heavenly Father forgive us. That’s a very powerful statement with significant consequences. So, my suggestion is to forgive those who have wronged you. If you have any problems letting go of your offense, feel free to work through the Forgiveness chapter from the HisLifeNow! book. It’s awesome stuff. To download the chapter, click here.
However, I don’t believe that forgiving necessarily means that you do nothing about the situation. I think forgiveness is demonstrated by whether the wrong has a “hold on us” – such as anger, bitterness, spite, vindictiveness, etc. – or whether we have “let go” of the wrong so it does not adversely affect our soul.
The Old Testament set forth laws on making others whole for the injury or damage done by others. So, I believe we need to be “led by the Spirit” – to do what He wants to do in the situation to “love the other”. Sometimes He will lead us to lay down the claim – and your willingness to do this could demonstrate the love of God to the other person. In other situations, the other person needs a “wake-up call” to help them do more damage to themselves and others. So, I suggest that you pray about the situation and get the Lord’s leading on how He wants you to proceed. He knows what is best for you and the other person – and for His glory!
As a Grand Rapids small business attorney and former business executive, I can help in the following areas:
Keeping the peace among co-owners: I have extensive experience in this area. In fact, I helped move co-owners from: (i) an unwillingness to talk business on the phone (they would only meet in person with the rest of the board of directors present); (ii) to meeting without the rest of the board; (iii) to finally having weekly phone management meetings.
Customers, vendors, etc.: I can help resolve disputes by: (i) putting pressure on the other party to seriously address the situation; (ii) helping to negotiate a settlement; and (iii) drafting settlement agreements. This is a very common service that I provide.
Think outside the Box: I like to think that I have an ability to “think outside the box” to find a win-win solution for all parties, which is very helpful if you want to negotiate a settlement.
Litigation Support. If you have to go to court, as a former litigator, I can help you prepare for trial (and hook you up with a good litigator).