Isaiah 3:13 13 The LORD takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people.
Have been crazy upside down with three focus groups this week, but it’s all good – amazing, though, how we interact with each other. The jury system is revered by the world as we are the country with the best justice system, the system where our peers judge us – how could it be more fair than that? If you’ve read any of the John Grisham novels, you know that there can always be a “bad guy” in every situation, but in 32 years of reporting and trials, I have only come home sick to my stomach two times, just feeling like what happened was wrong, so wrong. Sometimes as a court reporter, you know way more than the jury does and you wonder if they had known “the rest of the story,” would the outcome have been different?
The focus groups we did this week were kind of like that – the attorneys argued their case, but they would leave certain pieces of information out, and then after the group had deliberated, I would go in and fill them in on a few tidbits to see if it changed their opinions any. There was a really sweet African-American lady in one of our groups, and she was really fighting hard for her side, but everyone else wasn’t buying it. Once I told “the rest of the story,” she says, “Now, Mister, you done gone and disappointed me.” It was hilarious – she says, “Now, buddy, I was your best friend here, but now knowing all this other junk, we can’t be friends anymore.” I so love the black culture and how real they are – I’ve often said I could easily go to a black church.
Anyway, I say that to say this: Our last group didn’t have as much information as the other ones, and they were a mix of two for the plaintiff, two for the defendant and two undecided. What ended up happening was an unbelievable lesson in human behavior. The two for the plaintiff were way more passionate about their cause, and they literally took over, rolled over these other people and swayed them in their direction through the force of persuasion and passion, oftentimes in very heated ways. The two undecideds caved easily, and the other two held out for the defendant for a short while but ended up caving all the same. I literally could not believe it, watching remotely, how those who previously believe something just threw it away and went with the strongest in the pack.
The whole experience made me wonder about our passion for our faith. How often do you try to persuade someone to believe in Jesus Christ? Have you ever? Would people even know you’re a Christian? One of the most interested books I’ve ever read was written by a guy named Lee Strobel, and it was called “The Case for Christ.” Lee’s wife had gotten saved, and he wasn’t having it – her faith was threatening their lifestyle, their marriage, their relationship, and he was a journalist, a seeker of the truth, and he set out to show her logically and intelligently how this faith in this dead guy was just wrong, a made-up desperation of seeking for some emotional crutch to deal with problems in her life.
What happened was the exact opposite. He set out to seek the truth, who was this Jesus, what did history say about him, did he really exist, was he just a prophet or a good man? How many times did the Bible contradict itself, on and on. He set about this like he was going to do an expose on 20-20 of this cult of these infantile people, religious fanatics, built around this mythical figure Jesus Christ. As he studied and researched, the evidence became clearer and clearer that this Jesus really was the Christ, and he ended up getting saved also and is one of the most passionate speakers and writers of how to share your faith and to make “The Case for Christ.”
When I first read his book, I was very convicted that I knew this Jesus, had known Him for years, and I wasn’t sharing my faith and researching it and studying it like he was, and I vowed to do better. I would say I failed at that. Oh, I don’t hide my faith – it is all over me – but I do not actively debate those who may not know him and try to convince them of my passion. Why don’t I? If we were on a jury and someone disagreed with us, wouldn’t we fight to the end, until we got them convinced of our belief? I would wager to bet that we have argued with our friends and co-workers and perhaps relatives about ten times as many things as we’ve tried to convince them to try our Savior. Am I right? Lord, help us.
I so appreciate when the Lord comes in and convicts me – it lets me know He’s still working on me, He hasn’t turned his back on me. And don’t worry, I’m not gonna beat anyone over the head with it, but I am going to study to show myself prepared so that I am always ready to give anyone willing to listen a passionate argument on why they should try Christianity – won’t you join me?
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.