Years ago I was on jury duty. I spent three days in a courtroom listening to arguments in a civil case. The plaintiffs charged the defendant with damaging their livelihood and business by claiming to own part of what they thought was their property. The plaintiffs were humble people whose attorney was pretty disorganized and wore a rumpled suit. The defendant was a confident businessman, and he had a slick lawyer. The evidence required us to render a verdict in favor of the defendant. But we felt bad about it. We had sympathy for the plaintiffs, but their case was weak. In our deliberations, we noted that the defendant mounted a good defense because he had a better lawyer.
I have been in court other times. I was called to testify in a custody case for a student I was counseling. I had to appear before a judge to get disability benefits. I don’t like courtrooms because I’m afraid if I say the wrong thing, I will get myself in trouble. According to the letter of the law, we are always in God’s courtroom. And we should be uneasy about being there if we choose to represent ourselves. “But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1,2).