Monday, January 31, 2011

Kill the Lawyers With Kindness (If They Know What That Is)

Stephen Bloom. The Believer’s Guide to Legal Issues. Chattanooga, TN. Living Ink Books, 2008.

The author notes how it is compatible to integrate Christian values with work as an attorney, a profession that may appear to conflict with scripture. The book provides real life situations. It presents how showing real concern for others and diffusing disagreements can serve as better alternatives than litigation. This is consistent with Biblical advice. In contrast, real-life examples are presented that demonstrate how quickness in seeking legal remedies can escalate conflicts. Reconciliation is often far preferable to fighting in court.

The concept of grace is described, which is forgiving another beyond what one may believe they deserve. It is evangelism that shows care and concern for others, even when disputes arise. Those shown grace should respond more positively to empathy than to a lawsuit.

These values and concepts are discussed in situations such as divorce. Counseling could open avenues to better alternatives. Principals such as repenting, restoring, and forgiving can prevent many divorces.

Prenuptial agreements often place a couple into adversity before marriage. It can cause parties to be deliberately deceptive. This can create problems later when hidden information becomes known.

It is the Christian belief that one must confess guilt. While the legal system believes one innocent until proven guilty, the author urges people to strive towards acknowledging their actions and providing restoration.

Living trusts are established often at great cost paid to lawyers. They often have no legal value since people fail to properly put assets into the living trust. Many people would be better investing the savings themselves and following more basic inheritance planning. It is the Christian belief to not let one’s personal satisfaction depend upon material things.

A problem with a living will is sometimes a health care professional confuses it with a “do not resuscitate” order.

A person in trouble with debt is advised to approach a nonprofit credit counseling service that will attempt to renegotiate debt payments. Bankruptcy can pose difficulties and large costs.

One must pay one’s due taxes. It is important to be honest at all times, in business, in paying responsibilities, and before God.

The author advocates placing Christian conciliation clauses into contracts. Conciliation is often a better means to resolving conflicts than going before courts.


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