“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” Matthew 5:25-26
Two different people groups were trying to live together in our small village. A long time ago members of opposing tribes married. Since marriage contracts weren’t written, the bride’s dowry, that which she brought to the marriage, wasn’t listed anywhere.
Although certain customs are seen throughout Africa, each tribe has some unique rituals and traditions specific to their group. Some fathers gave their daughters land, but in other tribes land could only be passed on to the sons.
The contenders claimed the same piece of land adjacent to the village school. The leader of the Foofoo people planted trees on what he considered his land passed down for several generations.
The chief of the Kako ordered his people to attack the tree planters and drive them off what he considered his land. Several persons were hurt in the skirmish, but no one was injured seriously.
Just before the assault, several men ran to the city requesting police intervention. By the time the truck filled with soldiers and policemen arrived there was no evidence of any dispute. Everyone had carried their injured and returned home.
The soldiers were angry the people wasted the government’s time, energy and gasoline to settle a dispute, which appeared not to exist. They fined the leaders of both tribes.
This created additional strife between the peoples, who blamed each other for their fines. Because they didn’t settle the matters quickly they found themselves with more fines and court appearances to their last penny.
We have enough stress on this earth. So settle matters quickly before they develop into worse circumstances, expensive situations, serious arguments and even court cases which require judges and fines.
Make amends before the situation gets out of hand.
Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.
Be at peace with all men.
And may God bless you and keep you this week,