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Friday, July 31, 2009

The Client God Gave Me

And if you address as Father, Him who judges everyone impartially in accordance with what he does, you must live reverently all your fleeting stay on earh. (1 Peter 1:17 (Wms.))

What does it mean to "live reverently?" Reverence is a particular type of fear - not fear of loss or of punishment, but a fear of desecrating something holy. To use a mundane example, think of the crude drawing that a mother keeps safely tucked away for the sole reason that her son gave it to her when he was in the first grade "Mommy, this is for you!" Such an item may not be holy in a cosmic sense, but try to tell that mother that the drawing is just a piece of paper. The regard that the mother gives the drawing is a type of reverence - the drawing is in a sense "sacred" because of how she came to acquire it, because of who gave it to her.

"Live reverently all your fleeting stay on earth..." We were not made to be lords of all we survey. We were made to receive everything from God, and in that sense, it is shameful to live presumptuously. Our marriages, our children, our bank accounts, are not ours to do with as we please. A Christian husband could change the atmosphere of his marriage in a moment, if he ceased to think of his spouse as "my" wife and instead began to think of her as "the wife God gave me."

Where do our clients come from? Is Mrs. Jones "my" client? If I am living reverently, I see the providential hand of the heavenly Father in the fact that she came to entrust her legal affairs to my care. It makes no difference if she is a so-called "good" client who pays my bills and appreciates everything I do for her, or whether she is demanding and ungrateful. If she is "the client God gave me," I can serve her for Christ's sake, and so long as I see her through the lens of reverence, I can do so gladly.

Lord, teach me this day to see my clients, my partners, my professional life as having come from you. By your grace, I will no longer automatically put the word "my" in front of the persons and things that comprise my practice, but will begin to live reverently, doing all things for Your sake.

~ with thanks to Brent McBurney, Director of Attorney Ministries, Christian Legal Society

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