Week beginning: 18th August, 2013
By Dominic Hughes
"With one voice they cried out, "Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!" ... they kept shouting "Crucify him! Crucify him!""
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ..."Luke 23:18, 21 (NIV, 1984) and Ephesians 3:17b-18 (NIV, 1984)
Here are two related errors that Christian lawyers can fall into...
The first error is thinking that the secular legal culture around us is actually not that bad and not that different from our own values. For example, I have on many occasions heard Christian lawyers say things like "I never encounter any moral issues at work".
But is this really so? As the quote above from Luke reminds us, the world is not neutral to Jesus and His values - when faced with Him and His rule they hated Him and nailed Him to a cross. We should be very wary of thinking that the secular values around us are "basically alright".
The second error is that, when we do open our eyes and begin to realise how worldly and compromised and un-Jesus-like our own lives are, we often hit despair and fail to remember that we have an answer in the gospel.
In a wonderful book about his father, Don Carson comments that "[Dad] had a remarkably tender conscience. On so many fronts this is a good thing ... the closer a believer is to God, the more deeply he or she recognizes and feels the weight of personal sin. This might become an insupportable burden if it is not joined with an ever-deepening grasp of the limitless dimensions of the love of God (cf. Ephesians 3:14-21)." (*)
Praise God that the Jesus to whom the world mercilessly shouted "Crucify!" has such bountiful mercy towards us. He lived the life that we fail to live. In the gospel, that life is credited to us (2 Cor. 5:21).
- Pray that we, as Christian lawyers, would beware of unrecognised worldliness in our attitudes at work.
- Pray that we, as Christian lawyers, would deeply know that the gospel provides relief for our sinful lives.
(*) Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor by D.A. Carson, p. 94.