A Peace Officer’s Peace
Briefing: As a young officer I wanted to be part of the team, I wanted to fit in. I would do or say just about anything to be accepted by the veteran officers. You can watch new officers and see nothing has changed.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 122.
On the Street: I am ashamed to admit I was on the job for eight years before I openly confessed Christ to my fellow officers. I had been living the life of a chameleon. At home, I was a father, daddy, and Sunday school teacher. At work, I was a tough, aggressive, cop that lived to impress other officers with how great I thought I was. If you looked in the dictionary under hypocrite, my picture would have been there.
On Sundays, I liked to visit with an older officer. This guy was funny, cool, and tough. One particular Sunday, he started sharing the gospel with me. I laughed and told him I was already a Christian. I remember the surprise on his face. It really confused me. As the weeks went on, he began to mentor me on the importance of being true to Christ and dying to myself. He taught me, by example, how to be bold for your faith instead of being ashamed of it.
This started a snowball of events. I was touched by God and filled with His spirit a couple of weeks later. I forever changed in a moment. I remember it like it just happened. I soon met other peace officers from other departments who reflected Christ in ways I did not know were possible. They shared about being a Christian on the job and how the Bible shows us how to do that. I was introduced to the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers where I continued to learn how to be the Christian man and peace officer God had always intended me to be. I found peace at work and reconciled the two lives I had been living.
When I read verse 1, “I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord”, I am reminded of the officers who were already living their Christianity for all to see. God put these men of integrity in my life at just the right time. These guys were not ashamed to share Christ at work and taught me how to do the same. Just like the verse says, “Let us” these men took me by the hand and said, join us in living for Christ.
Verse 2 says, “Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem.” Jerusalem is your jurisdiction. When the Bible talks about men standing or sitting at the city gates, it showed they had authority in that town. By saying your feet are standing in the gates it implies you, the peace officer, have authority in your area of responsibility. It is almost like David wrote this psalm for peace officers.
If you have ever testified in court, I think verse 5 will give you a picture of what David was talking about. I can picture a peace officer walking into a courtroom, wearing their uniform, about to give testimony to the truth.
Verse 6 calls us to, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; “May those who love you be secure.” This is so important yet I know only a handful of officers across the country who have ever done this. We need to be going through our community praying for every person, residence, business, and governmental authority. We have to be prayer warriors, praying for the current needs as well as future encounters. Pray for peace, protection, and God’s blessing on your Jerusalem (Jerusalem means City of Peace). Verse 7 continues this thought with, “May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”
The next verse says, “For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.” Notice he does not say, “peace be with you,” he says, “Peace be WITHIN you.” Within YOU? What does your inward peace have to do with outward peace? If you are a man of war, you seek war; if you are a man of peace, you seek peace. This was a major change in my life when I chose to start living for Christ instead of living for myself.
My preacher calls it being a sponge. Whatever we soak up is what comes out of us when we are squeezed. Matthew 7:16 says, “By their fruit you will know them”, meaning we are either producing the Fruit of the Spirit or rotten fruit that no one wants.
Investigational Resources: John 14:27, Philippians 4:7, Fruit of the Spirit is found in Galatians 5:22-23.
Officer Safety Principle: As you are driving in your car, take time to pray for the people you see, the future calls you will respond to, your fellow officers, and protection for yourself and them.
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 2
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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