Daily Devotional - "Through the Eyes of a Cop"
A Line in the Sand
Briefing: Have you ever been involved in a call where you had to deal with an individual that was so evil that the anger and/or hatred of him/her stayed with you long after your shift ended? Anytime I have to deal with individuals who victimize children I get really ugly, negative feelings towards the suspect.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Matthew 5:38-48.
On the Street: This is one of those lessons where we find out if we can truly put into practice the things God has called us to do.
How many times have you wanted to practice the "old saying", an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth? I know I have. This is a natural human instinct but as a LEO we are called to rise above this kind of thinking. This is what the "thin blue line" is all about. When others want to act on their impulse for vengeance, we have to be self-controlled so that justice can be carried out. There have been several times in my career that I wanted to cross the line but didn't.
As a LEO, I stand as the thin blue line that separates chaos from civility. It is the same in our Christian life. We are called to be different. While we are here we assist the Holy Spirit in keeping the man of lawlessness away. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)
Another question for you: How do you feel about homeless people begging you for money or giving you a pencil and asking you to donate money for it? Jesus addresses this in verse 42 when He says to give it to them. Don't worry about them trying to scam you, don't make it about YOU. Do it out of obedience to HIM. Do it because you love Him and want to please Him. Put into practice the things Jesus has commanded us to do.
Lastly, how hard is it to love the person you arrest, who hates your guts and spits on you when they get the chance? How hard is it to love the citizen who complains on you for driving too fast, not knowing you are going to a dangerous call to help someone. How hard is it to love the reporter who calls you a Nazi or Storm trooper with a heavy badge? This is why Jesus calls us. We are called to be set apart, to be different from the world, not to look like the world but to contrast it.
It was a hard lesson for me to learn. One day in a Sunday school class, I was asked to picture in my mind the person I hated the most in this world. That was easy. Next, I was given a piece of paper folded, told to draw a stick figure on it and to write down the person's name. I was enjoying this. Next, the drawing (stick figure) of the object of my animosity was put on a wall and I was handed three darts. I was told to throw the darts at the drawing. After I put three beautiful holes in my stick figure, the teacher of the class gave me the picture and told me to unfold the paper. As I unfolded it, on the inside was a picture of Jesus. As you guessed, I had put three holes in my savior. It was a lesson that will never depart from me.
Investigational Resources: To find out more about the man of lawlessness, read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12.
Officer Safety Principle: If you have been on the job for long you know how it feels to have a hardened heart. This is a defense mechanism for people who have to deal with ugly, unpleasant situations on a regular basis. This is very dangerous for anyone and can prevent us from acting out the love that we are called to by Jesus. Guard against hardening your heart.
from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©2012 by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.