Week beginning: 4th October, 2015
By Gavin Callaghan | Dundee
"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned."Romans 12:3 (ESV)
Recently in Scotland the categories have been announced for one of the annual legal awards. There is of course nothing wrong with celebrating excellence in the professions, but it seems that lawyers have become increasingly adept at self-promotion in the online age. I have yet to view any profile on a firm or chambers website that does not describe any given lawyer as generally outstanding. In recognising the risk of over-promoting ourselves, we must equally avoid the trap of unnecessarily doing ourselves down. We can dishonestly present ourselves in more than one way.
But Paul's admonition to the Christians in Rome is an apt reminder for any lawyer. Not that we are to do ourselves down and hide our light under a bushel, but we should avoid the danger of simply following the way of the world in ways that can ultimately be ungodly. Instead, I think that one practical implication of this verse for us as Christian lawyers is that we should seek, under God, to live this week in the profession counter-culturally, in how we present ourselves to our colleagues and clients. Let's delight in the gifts God has given us, but be realistic about our limitations too.
Let's make a point this week of living out this text - as Phillips paraphrases Romans 12:3, let's "try to have a sane estimate of [our] capabilities by the light of the faith that God has given to [us] all."*
1. Give thanks for the gifts you have been given by God, and commit your use of them this week into His care and for His glory.
2. Pray for those fleeing persecution because of their faith this week, and don't have the same opportunities as us to use their skills at work.
*J. B. Phillips, "The New Testament in Modern English", 1962 edition by HarperCollins