How to Become a Judge – my path to the bench

I’m reading through Zechariah in my Bible study time right now and came to this:

Who dares despise the day of small things … ? (Zechariah 4:10.)

Apparently God takes small things seriously. I should have known that, of course. Jesus told a whole parable about this, and it has one of the most quoted verses of the Bible on our role as servants of God:

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness! (Matthew 25:23.)

Faithful with a little; given a lot.

Becoming a Judge – it’s the little things

When I speak to groups of high school or college students one of them usually asks how a person becomes a judge. I used to answer by going into the minute details of the application process. Now I don’t bother. Instead, my response goes something like this:

First, be as good a student as you can in high school and apply to a good college.

Then be as good a student as you can in college and apply to a good law school.

Then be as good a student as you can in law school and apply for a good job.

Then be as good an attorney as you can so that when you apply for a judgeship there are people who not only can but will want to vouch for your legal skills and your suitability for judicial office.

That’s how you become a judge.

Straight As were not in my transcripts, an Ivy League college was not on my resume, but I worked as best I could with what I had along the way.

I have come to value the small things. God has used them to get me where I am; I hope to be a good and faithful servant in the job he’s graciously given me.

Perhaps you’ve found yourself despising the small things. What can you do to embrace them instead?

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[This post is part of a week-long series on law, legalism, being a judge, and judging rightly.]

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18 Responses to How to Become a Judge – my path to the bench

  1. Zig Ziglar always had a saying I liked in fact my kids can probably quote it to you. “You can have anything you want in life as long as you are willing to figure out what it costs and are willing to pay the costs, problem is most people are not willing to figure out what it costs.” That is true of anything really, even some not so good things. Iin any field it is the attention to the details that make or break, I have always found. Most are not willing to put in the work to commit to the details, it’s much easier to skimp.

  2. As a mature student struggling with illness and the needs of three children, one with disabilities, I needed to read this today. It’s as if God is saying “Just keep going.” Thank you.

    • Tim says:

      I’m praying for God’s blessings on all your struggles and responsibilities, Sandy. In easy times and hard ones, what a blessing to know that he is with you throughout.

  3. Jeannie says:

    That sounds like really good advice, Tim: to just take the step that’s before us, do the best we can, and trust the outcome to God. I appreciate this refelection right now because in our house it’s been 2 weeks of sickness, washing sheets, preparing ANOTHER snack that I hope a boy with no appetite might eat, dishes, school lunches, same old-same old … but God always gives strength for the day as we do the task that’s in front of us.

    • Tim says:

      Doing the task at hand is always easier than doing the one that’s not yet before us, that’s for sure. Usually it’s not until I’ve done the task at hand that I can even possibly get to the one I was thinking about anyway. I hope your tasks soon move from nursing to playing!

  4. janehinrichs says:

    “Faithful in the small things”

    So important! Life is full of small things and small moments. These are what make up a life.

  5. Aimee Byrd says:

    I love this post, Tim. What great advice for students, and life in general. It is certainly great encouragement for me, as the vocation of a housewife is full of many small things (so many that I sometimes feel like I can’t handle them!). And so does the life of a writer. You are very faithful in pumping out some meaningful blog posts everyday. Thanks for that, Tim.

    • Tim says:

      Thank you, Aimee. I wouldn’t be doing things this way if you hadn’t guided me along the way with the example you set at your place and the words of wisdom you’ve shared. You are a wonderfully thoughtful and Spirit-following writer.

  6. KSP says:

    Excellent advice! Applies to all goals and aspirations. Amen and amen.

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