Illustration of Forgiveness and Loving Your Neighbor: The Lawsuit

The illustration on forgiveness and loving your neighbor, The Lawsuit Over the Fence provides us an example of forgiveness and loving your neighbor. In the story, one neighbor threaten a lawsuit with another neighbor because of the placement of a fence over a land boundary. Eventually, the other neighbor sells the land. The neighbor then threatens the new owner with the lawsuit. Then a wonderful thing happened: forgiveness and peace between neighbors.

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The Lawsuit Over the Fence

There was a dispute which had grown into a lawsuit between two farmers as to just where the line between them was and where a fence should be. Finally one of the farmers sold out, and the purchaser moved in. Soon he met Farmer Smith, who was agitated and said to his new neighbor, "They tell me you have bought this farm, and I just want to inform you that you have bought a lawsuit." He was asked to explain, and said, "Well, the fence, being located where it is, cheats me out of two feet of my land." "Then," said the newcomer kindly, "we will move it back four feet." "No," said Farmer Smith, "that is more than I ask." "But," said the new neighbor, "I would rather have peace with my neighbors than a few feet of earth!" "Then," said Farmer Smith very quietly, "if that is the way you feel, the fence stays just where it is and the lawsuit is all off."

The Bible says, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

William Moses Tidwell, "Pointed Illustrations." (Sermons Illustrations: Forgiveness)


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BIBLE SCRIPTURE for Fixing Broken Relationships: Galatians 5:26, "Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."