Sermon Illustrations
Posted by Douglas on Mar 18, 2006

Our society is filled with people who will start a lawsuit at the drop of a hat, and our court system can potentially get clogged with frivolous lawsuits that people take way too seriously.

Some of my favorites, in addition to the very well-known case of the woman who sued McDonald's because she got burned by the coffee when she spilled it into her lap, include the following:

  • The family who sued Sea World because their 27-year-old son broke into Sea World, snuck past security, went swimming with the killer whale, and drowned. Why is this Sea World's fault? Because they make cute and cuddly plush toys of the killer whale, making the 27-year-old think it would be fun to swim with the whale.
  • The man who, in the course of a high speed chase from the police, drove his vehicle into a telephone pole and broke some limbs. He sued the city. Why? Because the whole thing was the police department's fault, for chasing him in the first place.
  • The father of a Little League player who sued the coach because the team didn't win enough games for them to make it to the playoffs.

Yep, our society will sue at the drop of a hat. Makes me think of some versesĀ in Proverbs:

25:8do not hastily bring into court, for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame?9Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal another's secret,10lest he who hears you bring shame upon you, and your ill repute have no end.Proverbs 25:8-10 (ESV)

How quick we are to argue with our neighbor, and even make our argument a matter of public record and attention, instead of quietly resolving the matter with those concerned.

The proverb tells us that those who make their case public, and go out hastily to argue, end up being embarrassed, humiliated, and have their reputation besmirched.

How true this is; the people mentioned above can find their stories plastered all over the Internet, and though some of them have won monetary awards in their frivolous cases, what they have lost is far more important -- their reputation and their standing in the community.

What person in their right mind would invite this woman into their home, knowing full well that if she injures herself (by spilling coffee on herself, or any other way!), she's likely to sue your for your hospitality?

What person in their right mind would volunteer to coach a baseball team, knowing that one of the parents is perfectly content to sue you if the team doesn't do well?

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