Too Many Lawyers, Not Enough Witnesses

When speaking with an old friend and client yesterday I observed that there are “too many lawyers.” Sometimes I am so wise that I amaze myself. I was, of course, talking about the number of people practicing law. There are too many of us as evidenced by the number of frivolous lawsuits and the amount of lawyer advertising. 

After giving it some thought, I realized that my statement was true in a broader sense. Lawyers specialize in advocacy and in making arguments. Witnesses, on the other hand, generally stick to the facts. We have way too much argument and not enough relating of facts. This has become clear in the first week of the Trump administration. Trump has been calling in CEOs and labor leaders and regular folks, for example, to learn some facts. This seems to me a good thing. Washington is long on experts and theory and often short on regular folks and facts. 

When Congress holds hearings on the need for a piece of legislation, it’s great to hear from experts in the field. However, nothing is more powerful that the witness of some regular folks impacted by the problem being faced, whether it’s crime, a disease or an economic handicap.

Social media has the same problem. Lots of spouting off with theories often without any connection with facts. Way too many lawyers; not enough witnesses. 

I well understand that witnesses can differ on the facts. Even  witnesses to an event often see things differently. There is a subjective element to witnessing, but at least there is some “factual basis” to the discussion.

I think as Christians we sometimes think Jesus called us to be lawyers. That we need to be “making arguments” to convince folks to follow Him. We think we need to be theologians. Let’s review what He said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Our power doesn’t come from the brilliance of our theories, but from the Holy Spirit empowering the truth of our witness.

Our power comes in our story. Our story is unique and, yes, subjective, but it’s powerful truth. So raise your right hand and swear to tell the truth about how Jesus changed your life. Watch how powerful that is. More witnesses. Fewer attorneys. I like the sound of that.

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