Week beginning: 4th January, 2015

By Dominic Hughes | London

"...speaking the truth in love..."

Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)

One disturbing trait in the legal world is, I think, an over-readiness to turn into a sort of "yes man" to your client. Sometimes this manifests itself explicitly (for example being told "rule number 1 is to do what the client wants"). Sometimes it's more subtle (for example use of phrases like "not a team player" or "uncommercial" to marginalise people who dare to question the client's motives).

If we never find ourselves saying to our client that what they want to do is legal, but it's a lousy idea, then we may have made an idol of our client's wishes (*).

Don't get me wrong - the Bible has plenty to say about the importance of getting along with people in order to aid our gospel witness (see, e.g., 1 Corinthians 9). But a spineless hesitancy to challenge the client is not the lifestyle that an ambassador of Christ should aim for.

Let's keep in mind the phrase "speaking the truth in love". We should be people who do speak the truth to our clients and we should do it in the right way and with the right attitude.

We all mess up in this area. When we're overwhelmed and realise that Godly perfection is beyond us, then cling to the fact that Jesus, on our behalf, lived the life we fail to live. And, relying on His forgiveness, allow the Holy Spirit to work in us to be more like Him going forward.

Prayer points:

Give thanks that, though we fall so short of His perfect standards, there is release from our sin in Jesus.
Pray that we'd know how to better speak the truth in love in our legal practices in the year ahead.

(*) A thought gratefully borrowed from a wonderful talk Tim Keller gave to lawyers at
http://cfw-download.s3.amazonaws.com/audio/Re_Imagine_Law.mp3 - Download MP3 (n/a)