Briefing: One thing I have learned about peace officers is it does not take long to develop a calloused, cynical attitude. How would you categorize your level of compassion for people?
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Romans 12:9-13.
On the Street: Law enforcement officers are a close-knit group. They consider anyone who wears a badge and a gun, family. They understand the commitment to the job and willingness to lay down their life for their fellow officer. When it comes to loving each other, law enforcement does pretty well. Romans 12:9-10 says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
If this section stopped there we would have something to be proud of. In Matthew 5:46-47 Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”
Law enforcement professionals love their children. They make great moms and dads. We don’t do so well loving our spouses. The law enforcement profession has one of the highest divorce rates with statistics ranging anywhere from 70% to 85%. Our threshold for love drops dramatically after you begin to look outside of our close relationships. This seems to be the area Paul focuses on. Romans 12:11-13, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
In other words, love well, love everyone and love always. 1 John 2:11 says, “But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.”
And just so all of you tough, warrior cops know, you can enforce the law and be loving at the same time. You can win the violent struggle and have compassion on the suspect. You can make the arrest of the person who seems to be evil and have no regard for humanity and still do your job in a professional, dignified way. We must understand the person on the other end of the handcuffs is still God’s creation and He still loves them.
Investigational Resources: Psalm 97:10, Amos 5:15.
Officer Safety Principle: Keep in mind, every person you encounter on-duty is someone that God loves. Treat them accordingly, sometimes you are forced to show them tough love.
from The Book of Romans Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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