According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
[Defrauder]: One who defrauds; one who takes from another his right by deception, or withholds what is his due; a cheat; a cozener; an embezzler; a peculator; a cheat; a liar.
[Defrauded]: Deprived of property or right by trick, artifice or deception; injured by the withholding of what is due.
The Scripture is quite clear here, it is better to allow a brother in Christ to wrong you and to simply bare the loss than to go into a civil court to settle the matter. The word is FAITH! You see the reason the concept is so foreign to so many believers today is because they fail to realize that Christ will bless them according to His Word.God is always, completely aware of our circumstances, and He will operate according to His Word. He promises to bless and direct those who obey Him; however, that does not in any way indicate that we will always desire or enjoy the outcome of every situation. There will be times when God allows us to go through some things that are difficult to build our faith.
It is better to be defrauded and to leave justice to the Righteous Judge than to bring suit against another believer.
That does not mean that every time someone defrauds you that it is up to you to deal with the loss.
Matthew 18:15-17 provides the biblical pattern for settling conflicts within the church:
1. Go directly and privately to the brother or sister to discuss the problem.
2. If he or she will not listen, involve one or two witnesses.
3. If he or she still refuses to listen, take the matter to the church leadership.
4. If he or she still refuses to listen to the church, treat that one as a heathen.
Because there are many cases in which the loss is unacceptable and there could be harm done to your family by you not taking action, the Bible instructs us to treat a brotherwho will not behave as a Christian, as a heathen!
What if someone who is not a Christian defrauds me?
1. You should first attempt to settle it among yourselves, but because a person who is not a believer will not go to your pastor for a fair decision, there will be some occasions when civil court is warranted, but only then when your Pastor has advised it!
2. You should not be partnered with anyone who is not a Christian!
2Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
God is always watching, and He knows the motive of every action we make. We should rarely if ever need to include the Church or the court in our personal quarrels. We should be able to employ wisdom in our own dealings with others so as to conduct ourselves as Christians and maintain a Godly testimony in the process.
I Corinthians 6:7-8:
7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.