Thursday, November 20, 2014

"How has your religious faith prepared you or benefited you in your professional life?"

There is an ethical dimension of the Christian faith, of course. That dimension has certainly informed my professional life. Truth telling and competence, treating all people as neighbors, not just people who look like me and think like me, having courage and taking risks, leading by serving, all of these things Jesus taught. They have made me a better lawyer.

My Christian faith defines a particular reality that has informed my practice. First, I believe that there is a just, all-powerful and gracious God, one whose spirit empowers me to follow his will to the extent I choose to be so empowered, and a God to whom I will account at some point in the future, either during my lifetime, if the Messiah returns during my lifetime, or after my death when, at the Second coming, I will be raised from the dead and among the first to greet the Messiah at that coming. In connection with that coming, there will be a judgment day at which God will set everything straight.

This belief helps me deal with the big questions, such as why a loving and sovereign God would tolerate such suffering in our present world, and the small questions about how I am to deal with suffering and joy in my personal life and with my successes and failures as a lawyer.

This belief in such a spectacular end to history also gives teeth to what Jesus taught as the greatest commandment, that I am to love God with all my heart, soul, and strength, and that there is second commandment that amounts to the same thing, that I am to love my neighbor as myself.

That is the standard to which God will hold me at some point in my future and part of that accountability will be how I behaved as a lawyer.

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