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Being Recognized

Briefing: When you are off duty, do you carry a gun under your shirt or in your purse? When you go out to eat, do you always sit facing the door? Do you scope out the nearest exit? Do you size up the person next to you in line at the grocery store? Do people know you are a LEO?

Dispatch (Assignment): Take a moment to think about what others perception of you might be. Read Matthew 7:15-23.

On the Street: When I was in the police academy, there were cadets who would hang a police shirt in their back windshield. They wanted the whole world to know they were the police. The truth is they were not. They did not have a gun, a badge, or a commission. These guys wanted everyone to think they were cops. They were proud of the profession they were getting into.

I have a good friend who is a fellow officer, serving in the same department and on the same shift. He is a police officer on duty and off duty. When he is off duty, he wears police association t-shirts, his tactical boots and police ball cap. If you engage him in conversation, you can tell he’s a cop by the words he uses. Sometimes he will even slip in a “10-4” instead of saying yes. He can walk in a crowded grocery store and within minutes everyone either recognizes he is a police officer or they think he is casing the place.

Do you approach your life as a Christian the same way? Are you excited to be known as a Christian? Do you live your life in such a way that people see that you are making an effort to be like Christ?

Has anyone ever told you, “Do as I say, not as I do”? This is a frightening place to be. Jesus said, “by their fruit you will recognize them”. It is the same principle when someone tells you that so-and-so goes to their church. Your reaction is shock and you say something like, WOW!! I didn’t know they were a Christian! (Going to church does not make you a Christian). What scares me even more is thinking how many people have said that about me? Do you live your life in such a way that there is no mistaking who you are? Do people know you are a Christian?

Highlights from this Read: In verse twenty-one, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” In Luke 6:46, Jesus asks the question, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?” If we are truly Christians and call Jesus our Lord, we have to produce fruit, it has to be visible for others to see, we have to live like He has called us to live.

Investigational Resources: You can find the listing of Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22.

Officer Safety Principle: We have to make a conscious decision to live contrary to this world; to live for Jesus Christ.

from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!