Wise Counsel

Abraham_Lincoln_2Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” The phrase originated long before him, to an unattributed origin. The depth of the wisdom within the saying is absolute.

Emotions cloud our perspective. Our emotions, when heightened, will misinform our logic and reasoning. We’ll come to inaccurate conclusions completely convinced that we are on point. The emotion justifies the rationale.

I’ve handled thousands of accident investigations over the years. The involved parties can, at times, have completely differing testimony regarding the facts. From upstanding, well-meaning parties to an incident, there can be two opposite perspectives equally convinced. While we certainly want to interview the parties to get their side, a more valuable perspective is often from a neutral, disinterested third-party witness. When a person has nothing to gain or lose and didn’t have first hand emotions as a result of a situation, their account tends to be less clouded.

In a courtroom, one of the advantages of having an attorney is their ability to cut through the emotion. They are not prejudiced or influenced by their involvement and, therefore, they maneuver that much more skillfully with logic and convincing reasoning.

In walking out our faith, we are not immune to emotions simply because we are “religious” people. We don’t check out of the human condition by way of the divine relationship. We are still working out our salvation, which is Him in us. Him in us allows for love to come out of us but us in us allows for fear. Perfect love casts out fear.

Our emotions of fear, insecurity and anxiety regarding our identity and capacity will distort our purpose. We’ll be drawn to great and glorious things as part of our design but paralyzed by the distraction of our limitations. Great and glorious things within us aren’t for us to do “for” Him as He “uses” us, they are to do with Him as He comes through us. It’s only when we die to our emotional temptations and allow the truth of His love to prevail that we will realize the purpose of our design.

Allowing Jesus to represent us allows us to represent Him. We get to be ambassadors of His kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven. He died for us and we are called to die to us. When we give Him the whole deal with no compromise in the context of the suburban comforts we prefer to hedge our committment with, He will speak through us and for us.

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