How Humility Helps Us Hear the Gospel
by J Warner Wallace
I’ve been writing recently about jury selection. If you are interested in making a case for what you believe as a Christian, you probably already recognize the importance of preparation. You know how important it is to investigate the issues and evidences diligently and to train yourself to articulate the arguments and philosophical premises. You may even envision yourself as a character in a courtroom setting: a detective or prosecutor who cleverly and powerfully makes the case for Christ. To further this vision, you may try to sharpen your investigative skills or your ability as a presenter, hoping your excellence in these areas will make you a better case maker. But as a cold-case detective and part of a three generation law enforcement family, I’ve got a secret I’d like to share with you: the majority of criminal (and civil) cases are won or lost well before the opening statements or closing arguments. Most cases are decided at jury selection.
You can have a great case but lose miserably if you don’t have the right jury. As the case agent and investigating detective in many high profile criminal trials, I’ve learned to look for three things in every juror, and these are the same attributes I seek in those with whom I share the case for Christianity: I’m looking for people who are passionate about the issues, open to hearing the case and humble enough not to let their ego get in the way. Humility is an incredibly characteristic for jurors, because humility helps us hear the gospel:
My cold-case criminal trials are difficult and complex. They are usually built cumulatively and circumstantially. I need smart, interested and fair jurors if I hope to succeed. When picking a jury, I look for people who enjoy a challenge and love puzzles. If you’re an engineer or programmer, you’re a good candidate for one of my cases. But while I respect intelligence and critical thinking, I’m cautious about impaneling someone who has expertise in an area critical to our case. If we’re going to call an electrical professional as an expert witness, for example, we probably won’t put an electrician on our jury. Why? Because time and time again we’ve seen jurors become prideful when they encounter testimony within their discipline. Jurors who think they are experts in a particular field sometimes have difficulty accepting the testimony of other experts. It’s often a matter of pride…
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