A defence attorney was arguing a case for his client, who was charged with murder. Despite the fact that the victim’s body was never discovered, the circumstantial evidence was overwhelming, and everyone in the courtroom, including the jurors, knew that the defendant was guilty. The clever lawyer decided to go for broke. As he addressed the jury in his closing argument, he pointed toward the courtroom doors and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, in exactly 60 seconds, the so-called corpse, the man you believe is dead, is going to come walking into this courtroom – right through those very doors. We can begin counting.”
Immediately, the eyes of all the jurors went to the door.
The time ticked by: 1 second, 2 seconds, 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 45 seconds, 55 seconds, 56, 57, 58, 59 seconds – finally, one minute. And at exactly the one-minute mark, wouldn’t you know it, but who should come striding in through those doors?
Absolutely no one. Certainly not the victim.
The lawyer now faced the jury once again and spoke in a conciliatory, reasoning, almost patronizing tone: “Now, ladies and gentlemen, I must apologize. I told you something that clearly did not come true. However, you will have to admit that the mere fact that each and every one of you looked towards those doors as you did, showed me and showed you snd showed everyone in this courtroom that you had some doubt. And, as the judge will instruct you, if there is any doubt in your minds, any doubt at all, you must – you must – return a verdict of not guilty and set my client free.”
The jury went into the jury room to deliberate and came back out five minutes later to render the verdict. The foreman stood up, faced the defendant, and when asked by the judge what their verdict was, said that they declared the defendant – GUILTY!
The defence attorney was enraged. “How could you?!” He stammered. “I saw you all watching those doors.”
The foreman glanced at the defence attorney and replied, “Yes, sir, you did. But we were also watching you and your client – and you did not watch the door; your client did not watch the door. And that’s because neither of you believed for even a moment that anyone was actually going to be walking in through there.”
The moral of the story?
Don’t expect anyone to believe in something you don’t believe in yourself.
The Christian takeaway: If you are not living out what you believe for all to see then they will not believe your words when you share the Gospel of the Kingdom
The underlying though: You only believe what you apply and what others can see in your lifestyle.