Lawyers will often try to explain to their clients that there are limitations to the relief they can get at law. Many laymen file petitions, hoping that for whatever inequity that have suffered, the Court will offer a complete relief of their burden even though the legal system just cannot offer the remedy sought. There are stories after stories of clients demanding lawyers to file a complaint that will probably be a futile attempt at what clients like to call “justice”.
Further yet, even when there is a relief at law, there are obvious limitations to what the Court can offer. Before discussing limitations, it is important to note that the Court system can do two things, very broadly speaking that is. First, the Court can act upon what has already happened. By doing so, it might either reward or punish a certain party for past actions. The Court may order damages or specific performance to compensate equity. The second thing the Court can do is stop or initiate future actions. The Court may order an Order of Protection, for example, to prevent a certain person from intruding on the petitioner’s premises. The Court can also incarcerate someone and forcibly prevent the criminal from committing further offenses.
However, the Court is limited to one thing. It cannot necessarily change an individual. It cannot make you whole from a broken marriage. Not necessarily, at least. The Court cannot change an individual to awaken them to their senses by incarcerating them. It may however, happen on the account of the individual’s own enlightenment. It is limited in that it can control a person’s actions, but as for what is within and without, the Court plays a truly limited role.
As Christians, the Word of God moves us. The Word is like a seed that plants into our hearts and from there the seeds sprout into leaves. Our hearts and minds become gardens of Christ, as by the daily dose of prayer and the Word, they are watered in the Holy Spirit. It is not a rare sight to see the unbelievable rebirth of a sinner shackled by death to his salvation by the Blood of Jesus. Like a man born again from the womb of his mother, a Christian is born again and again in Christ. Every time a sinner repents, you see regrowth and renewal in him.
The Word does not simply control our actions, though the Command of God is beyond prevalent in the entire Bible. Though an awaken individual may go to jail and come out as a “new” man, it is by the words of experienced judges who often say, “oh no, you’ll see that man again, in Court, very soon.” They simply say, “they do not learn”.
People all make mistakes. I cannot for a second doubt that all judges are great sinners themselves. Yet, people with ongoing and endless criminal counts, are almost residences of the Court or the jail. You clearly see, this is no mistake. Criminality to such degree in the all too many counts show that their actions are not mistakes. They are habits they cannot break.
There are weepers and moaners. There are the proud ones and the shouters. Sadly, too often than not, one cannot possible trust all that they “promise” before the judge. “Judge, thank you. I will never disappoint you again.” These words go in one ear and come out the next, as the same faces reappear year after year.
I often sit and see this frustrating cycle of sinful habit. Break it, I say! But how do they begin? Where do they begin? What if their entire lives were constructed by sin because their parents too, did not know any better? They may return home today with a legal remedy that they are happy of. But, will that change them from where they are now?
There seems to be two worlds facing each other in Court. There is the judge with authority, with wisdom and knowledge of the law. Then, there is the inferior one who stands before the bench, waiting for an invisible hand to force them to do something. I sit there in between the two worlds and feel stricken with grief.
How limited the legal remedies are! People fight and say “I’ll see you in Court!” as though, justice would be served and all would be well. But, what of the true offenders who have violated the law? What of the offenders who come back every now and then, and who cannot break away from their problem-infested lives?
I do not not for a second think it unnecessary for the Courts to exist. The relief that the parties gain through trial or hearings can amount to more than I can possibly imagine. Yet, when we downsize and look through a microscope into the individuals lives, it pains me that some do not know there is complete relief in Christ.
Perhaps it is because I know that from death, Christ saves me day to day. Though we are all sinners, the Word breaks us into pieces day to day. The Word is like a mirror. It shows us our dirt, our conceit, our pride, and our crime. By seeing that reflection, we know the grace we have received! And though we can never stop sinning, at least we are given the blessing to know what we have done wrong, how to undo that wrong, and how to begin walking the right path.
Think what blessings you have that even today, this very moment, you can see your true reflection by His Word. Be thankful that this moment, when you kneel before His grace, you can be born again. Remember, nothing in this world can give to you exactly what you need. It is only Jesus Christ that gives complete relief.