Tested By Fire

By Jamie McWilliam '22

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 (ESV).

Law school can be a test of faith in many ways. Caught in the secularism of class discussions, it can be easy to feel alienated because of one’s faith. A lower-than-hoped for grade in a curved class can be discouraging. Finally, in the whirlwind of case readings, journals, student organizations, internships, and maintaining relationships with friends and family, it might take a little extra effort to remember one’s prayer life.

But “[a]ll things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27 (ESV). When I came to law school, one of my biggest fears was that I would struggle to find a community of faith. As in all things, God provided. I found myself in a class section with not only several other like-minded Christians, but one lead by a person of faith. Even when I found the class discussion premised on ideas of morality and justice antithetical to Christian teaching and the Gospel, I was rooted by the Christian community I had found. Even in the hardest days, the love of this community got me through, and reminded me of the One who had put me here in the first place.

In law school, where we are graded in comparison to each other and half the class must by definition come out below median, it can be easy to feel discouraged or to forget the value we hold as people made in the image of God. Further, this meritocracy breeds an intense work ethic that, while admirable if applied with the right intentions, can lead to a withering of prayer life. So we must remember to pray. We must remember the Savior that leads us according to His plan.

Law school is a test of faith, but it prepares us for a demanding career that will be no less a test by fire. It is therefore important to find a community in which our faith can flourish, where we can share the love that God pours out for each of us. We should reserve a portion of our work ethic for a prodigious prayer life. This way our faith, tested by the fire of our legal careers, “may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

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