What Christians Should Learn from Lawyers

That title line just seems so wrong doesn’t it?

WARNING: this could be an offensive article to you.  It is not meant to be.  I love the topics of religion and politics and completely understand that many people cannot stand either of them.  But, this is my Ophra meets Joyce personality reflected in writing (which also means that you don’t have the opportunity to hear my voice tone, make eye contact, observe body language, etc.).  If you could see those things in person, you probably would NOT be offended.  But in writing I suppose they could sound offensive.  That said, if you are easily offended or have issues with those who have views different from your own, please do us both a favor and don’t read past this sentence.  Close the blog and move on to something else.

For the rest of my blog buddies including my paralegal sisters in Christ, here is what has been all kinds of stirred up in me and just is not going away.  I’ve talked to God about it, my hubby about it, and it’s still just driving me batty so I’m going to blog it.  That usually helps me move on.

Last night I attended the LSAT (law school admission test) Strategy Workship at TCU.  The instructor asked each of us to introduce ourselves and briefly state why we are interested in going to law school.  For a moment I heard crickets chirping in my head.  I gave a semi decent and very short answer about how I’ve been a paralegal for about 18 years and “it’s time”.  But, then on the drive home, that question just kept nagging at me.  Honestly, I’m not even sure that I do want to be a lawyer.

About lawyers.  Yes, I am aware that the Bible says “woe to you lawyers” (Luke 11:46).  And I have heard many people bad mouth lawyers while using that verse to back it up.  And I hear ya.  I know some dirty, crooked, bad, ugly lawyers.  Oh wait.  That’s not politically correct. Let me rephrase that statement.  I know some lawyers who at times act out in their flesh by doing dirty, crooked, bad and ugly things.  Just as the rest of society has done, myself included, at one time or another.

But the lawyers in Bible days were another story.  The lawyers in those days were experts and teachers in religious law.  And Jesus himself had a lot to say to them.  Just a few references are: “what sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden. Luke 11:46.  Jesus also said “what sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence!” Matt 23:25.  And I’m not sure if that was before or after Jesus said “your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.” Mark 12:24.  Or when “Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace.  He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves. When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him.”

The first time I read that I was like DANG!  That’s a side of Jesus that I had not really heard about until I read the New Testament myself.  I now joke with my husband that the only thing worse than a dirty lawyer is a dirty religious leader.  And no, I am not claiming to be all discerning or all knowing about the identity of false prophets nor am I calling anyone out or attacking anyone individually.  Just looking it all over and taking it all in.

photoA week or so ago, we (a friend, hubby and I) were reading Mark 9:38-41 entitled “Using the Name of Jesus” in the NLT.  One of the disciples was all bent and upset that someone not in their clique was acting like Jesus.  But Jesus replied to the disciple saying “anyone who is not against us is for us.”  That’s kind of like all of these denominations right?  Which seems ok as long as, like lawyers, you can handle agreeing to disagree.

So here is what I posted about what I love about lawyers when I saw David Kennedy’s “Christian Advocate” Facebook page description “Community Page about Religion and politics”.  I said “When I saw your headline, I seriously laughed out loud very loud. A community page about “Religion and Politics”.  Gosh darn I think that’s why I like your stuff. One of my favorite qualities about lawyers is their ability to be on opposing sides yet pat each other on the back, go play golf and still love each other.  I have to make an effort to remind myself that not everyone can play by those rules.”

That’s my favorite thing about lawyers.  Attorneys, in general, have a spirit of unity because they bear one another’s burdens and “get” each other.   Regardless of the type of law they practice, despite having clients at opposition with each other, despite having very conflicting views on politics and which party or candidate to endorse, most of them are still unified.  They attend County Bar and State Bar of Texas meetings together.  They support one another as humans.  When that District Attorney in Kaufman County was murdered recently, criminal prosecutors, criminal defense lawyers, republicans and democrats in the legal community all came together because “one of their own” had been killed.  It was a tragedy to the legal community.   Meanwhile, the Christian community suffered a loss that made headlines yet Pastor Rick Warren got lit up like the fourth of July.

In the legal community, “fear of confrontation” is pretty much not existent.  They have unity yet do not let it stop them from being verbal and vocal and standing up for what they believe in.  They win some.  They lose some.  And with good sportsmanship they can even appreciate being outwitted.  Losses actually can make them better.

Many politicians are from the legal community where fights get really entertaining.  Which reminds me of this hilarious Fedex commercial.  It’s one of my favorites. You’ve got to take 30 seconds to appreciate it.  

Now, can you imagine a group of Christians that can have the courage to discuss their differences, agree that they have different theologies, do it to each others faces instead of whispering behind each others backs, can accept criticism (like that posted by charisma magazine today) without holding a grudge, and then spend time with each other intimately? You know, rather than walking on eggshells feeling forced to be politically correct all the time and secretly training their children on the side about their denominational beliefs.  Can you imagine agreeing to disagree within the body of Christ?

That is what John 13:35 looks like “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  Then loving our brothers and sisters in Christ would be like loving our real brothers and sisters.  We don’t always agree with what they say or do, sometimes we have arguments, sometimes we take a break from each other and give each other some space, but we still love each other anyway and still come back together.  I mean, after all, that’s what real family does.

Kind of sounds like marriage doesn’t it?  But that’s a blog for another day ….

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