What would happen if you were accused of be- ing a Christian father? Would there be enough
evidence? If we dug under the surface
of your life, under what is visible to the
world, what would we find? Would there
be any reason to doubt?
One of my favorite movies is about
twelve jurors in a deliberation room. An
eighteen-year-old boy is accused of killing his father, and the case seems like
a slam dunk. After a preliminary vote,
eleven jurors believe the boy is guilty.
The twelfth juror wants to talk. The defendant’s life or death depends on their
decision. He wants to be certain—
beyond reasonable doubt.
“Supposing we’re wrong,” he says. The
other jurors roll their eyes. Guilt is obvious to them.
Evidence which was presented in the
trial is rehearsed and discussed in the
deliberation room. Juror number twelve
brings up discrepancies in eyewitness
testimony, and point by point the prosecution’s case starts to crumble. Certainty
gives way to doubt. One by one the jurors change their mind. The vote changes
from guilty to not guilty.
A lesson emerges from the movie:
we are too quick to judge others on the
basis of superficial evidence. Prejudice
and life experience color our judgment.
What we see on the outside isn’t al-
ways true about the inside. We must be
careful not to make hasty determina-
tions about others.
Dads, what if a jury of your peers was
told to render judgment about you? Not
a criminal judgment, but a judgment of
character and duty. What if the question
before them was, “Is this man a Christian
father?” Would the case be a slam dunk?
Would your life and words present a consistent picture? Or would there be room
What if eleven of the jurors think
your case is a slam dunk but one wants
to talk? Parenting is an important responsibility, a God-given duty. Juror
twelve wants to make certain there is
no doubt before giving you the title of
by David West
Dads, if someone started to dig into your life, what would they find?