Think It Over - Lying

As I listened to Pastor Burke’s excellent sermon on lying and the story of Norman Geisler’s tire, I had a flash back to a very embarrassing situation in which I was involved.

Somehow I wound up on the jury of a lengthy murder trial in Santa Ana Superior Court. As we were sworn in as jurors the Judge admonished us not to discuss the case or read anything about it if we came across it in the newspaper.

A day before the trial ended as I was flipping through the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER I saw a caption saying that the trial was shortly going to the jury. I quickly turned the page as I knew I wasn’t supposed to read it, however, a minute later I just couldn’t stand it so I turned back and read the article thinking that nobody would find out.

Much to my surprise the next morning as we showed up for the final closing arguments the bailiff came out and said, “Mr. Cook, the Judge would like to see you in the court room. I walked in not knowing what to expect and he said, “An article on the trial appeared in the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, did you read it?” I was caught by surprise and so I stammered out a “No Sir” and was dismissed. He then went through every juror one by one.

That night I just could not sleep. I could not believe it. I had lied. Here I was the President of Biola University, lying, because my hand had been caught in the cookie jar.

The next morning I knew what I had to do and as I parked my car and walked to the Court House every step felt like I was hauling lead. I didn’t know what they were going to do to me. I had lied to a Judge. Would I be put in jail? Would I be fined? But I knew what I had to do.

So I arrived at the Court House and went to the Bailiff and said I need to see the Judge. He said, “What about?” I said, “I perjured myself.” So he disappeared and after a few minutes he came back and called me in. There was the Judge, the Prosecuting Attorney, the defendant, the Defense Attorney and the courtroom reporter, all in the Judge’s chambers. I told the Judge that yes, I had read the article, and I was a Christian and I just had to confess my lying. I said my job depends on my relationship to God and my integrity and that is why I am here telling you what I did.

The Judge asked me, “Well, did it affect your opinion?” I said, “No, they had several of the facts wrong and so I just dismissed it.” He then asked the prosecuting attorney and then the defense attorney if they wanted me removed and neither one said yes so I continued on the jury and actually wound up as the foreman.

My point is, that even walking with the Lord for over 40 years, we still can be trapped by Satan and if we do succumb we must confess it and make it right.