Just Doing My (Jury) Duty
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on judging. Shortly after writing it, I was summoned to the Hall of Justice in downtown San Diego for jury duty. Long story short, I got picked as a juror on a two-week civil trial. Needless to say, I got my fill of "judging" during my stint in the box.
The case was a lawsuit involving a car accident, so we had to decide who was at fault and assign monetary compensation. When the 12 of us entered the jury room and began deliberating, it was easy to decide who was at fault (the evidence was pretty clear), but agreeing on how much money to award for pain and suffering was excruciating.
Two "camps" quickly formed in our little jury pool. About half of the jurors wanted to award the plaintiff tons of money, and the other half wanted to award him very little.
As time went on, our personal biases began to surface. Some people based their dollar amounts on how they thought the young man would spend the money once he got it. Others said that wasn't fair. Some people thought that the young man would be able to better move on with life if he received a healthy sum of money in acknowledgement of his pain and suffering. Others thought that the money would encourage the young man to develop a victimized attitude.
At times, we were at a standstill, not willing to budge on our numbers. Eventually, we compromised on a seven-figure settlement.
During our deliberations, I kept asking myself, "Are we doing what is right?" "Are we being fair?" "What would I want if I were in the plaintiff or defendant's shoes?" And I couldn't help thinking about my own future court case — the one that happens when my life concludes and I stand before the pleasing bar of God.
After witnessing how an earthly jury functions, I'm so thankful that the great Jehovah will judge my case. 2 Nephi 2:10 says we're judged according to the "truth and holiness which is in him." Revelation 19:2 says, "true and righteous are his judgments." Psalm 96:3 says, "he will judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth."
Those scriptures can either make me feel comforted or queasy depending on how my walk with the Lord is going, right? But I want to set that aside for a minute and just focus on what a perfect judge God is.
If you've ever seen a likeness of Lady Justice, then you probably remember what she wears on her face: a blindfold. If you've ever served on a jury, then you know that you can only base your judgments on evidence presented in the case (what comes out of a witness's mouth). You can't even base it off what the lawyers or judge say. In the jury room, we all confessed that the plaintiff probably bore some fault in the accident, but there was no evidence to prove it, and we couldn't base our decisions on a hunch.
God is all-seeing and all-knowing. He doesn't wear a blindfold. He sees everything from every perspective and every angle. Romans 2:16 says He'll judge even the secrets of men. Nothing will be hidden. Nothing will be misunderstood or misrepresented. I won't even have to tell Him my side of the story because He'll already know it — better than me even.
I know that His mercies are abundant in Christ. And I also know that His mercy does not rob His justice. His scales are perfectly balanced (Prov. 16:11), and He handles each case personally. Having just been through this jury duty experience, I am in awe of God, the eternal judge, and I feel that my eternal case is safe in His wise, capable hands.
Summer Reading Challenge Daily Assignment
1 Nephi 1-4