Several weeks ago I received a summons to appear at the courthouse in the county I live in for possible jury duty. I reported this morning. There were between 40 and 50 potential jurors in our pool. We were questioned during the jury selection process, which took about three hours. Then I found that I had been selected as one of the twelve jurors to decide a criminal case. We had recess then we entered the courtroom to hear the opening arguments. By then it was nearly noon so we recessed until 1pm. When we came back into the courtroom after lunch, we heard the evidence from both sides. Both sides rested their cases around 4pm. The judge then called a recess for the day and ordered us back at 9am tomorrow for closing arguments, legal instructions from him then deliberation.
I was more than a little shocked that I was selected. Most of the people I work with assumed that I would not be selected because of my very apparent Christian convictions, faith, and walk. They were sure that the defense would not want me on the panel. Why? I suppose they assumed that all Christians like me are also bigoted, narrow minded, right-wing, law and order types who want all accused people on trial to be sent to the gallows.
Instead, I have found that the believer who is real will be compassionate as Jesus is compassionate. He or she will not be tied to the what I call conservative religiosity, the melding of conservative politics with fundamental Christianity. My coworkers seem to believe that a professing Christian like me will automatically fall into that mind set. However, that is not the case for those who are walking this walk by faith. They are spirit-led or spirit-filled and are in the process of taking on Christ’s character. That character is compassionate. It will not always be automatically lined up with conservative politics or over-zealous law enforcement. Instead, they know that all judgment is God’s, not theirs. He or she will obey the laws of the land they are in except where their obedience to those laws will cause disobedience to God.
Until this jury trial is over my coverage of email and comments will be next to nil. I ask for your patience and your prayers for wisdom and discernment.
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