Jury Selection

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

One of the biggest problems for man is making an adequate assessment of himself. Whenever there is question about the integrity or actions of a person, the one being discussed will always err on the side that best benefits him. Man has an amazing capacity to “rationalize” and begin to feel that most anything is okay. The Bible calls it sin. Read Genesis 3.

Derrick Smith is an accused murderer on trial for a barroom murder in Schenectady, New York. It is hard to believe but he recently received a summons to serve as a juror in his own trial. Now that is really picking an unbiased juror!!

Smith has even argued to the judge that he would be glad to answer the summons and sit on the jury. He has argued that he could be fair and impartial. He feels like he could pass judgment on himself in an impartial way.

Of course the judge struck him from the jury. The commissioner of jurors said that this had never happened before.

While most of us are not on official jury duty, we are quick to justify our own actions. It is easy to think we are impartial, but not.

Read II Samuel 11 and 12. David made a terrible mistake. He became infatuated with a beautiful woman and had a sexual relationship with her. She became pregnant and had a baby.

David did all he could to avoid taking responsibility for his action. He even had the woman’s husband return from battle so people would think that he was the father of the child. He then had her husband placed on the front line of battle so he would be killed.

David was doing a lot to convince himself that what he had done was okay. Then God put a prophet in front of him by the name of Nathan. He told a story about taking a man’s special little lamb. David became interested in the story and responded that anybody that would take another man’s special lamb deserved to die. Nathan pointed a boney finger in his face and said to David, “you are the man.’ (II Samuel 12:7)

Reasoning that comes from a human perspective will seldom turn out to be reasonable. Reasoning that is tempered by biblical revelation and an openness to God’s spirit will be far more accurate. Seeking the opinion of other people is oftentimes helpful, but God’s standard of evaluation is always correct.

Derrick Smith was struck from the jury. He could not be impartial. I must always be struck from the jury when I have sole responsibility for trying to pass judgment on my actions.

The good news is that David did confess his sin, receive forgiveness and was restored. (II Samuel 12:13) His reconciliation occurred when he quit rationalizing and became honest and repentant before God.

Jury selection occurs everyday!

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