Complaints to Solutions
Briefing: A very wise lieutenant once told me, “You want to impress me? Bring me solutions! Anyone can drop problems on my desk; I’m looking for someone who can bring me solutions.”
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 64.
On the Street: As a police sergeant for 18 years, part of my job was to take complaints from citizens. The majority of these complaints were against police officers. Complaints are never pleasant but every so often I would get a call from a citizen who wanted to complain on someone other than a police officer. Some of the funniest calls I have ever had were citizens who called the police department to complain on employees of businesses. For the vast majority of these calls, there was no crime committed and nothing the police department could do. Without fail, the caller could not understand why we would not send a police officer to reprimand an employee of a business for being rude.
David has a very different complaint. His complaint is against the inhumanity and injustice of the human race. He is fed up with their evil. David lists several complaints; verse 2, the conspiracy of the wicked, verse 3 the words they speak, verse 4 the attacks on innocent people, verse 5 making plans to intentionally abuse and getting satisfaction from it, and verse 6 says they are cunning and plot injustice. David is fed up with their behavior and the only person he can complain to is God.
I have always said, “I would be a good Christian if it were not for other people, but that is the point of being a Christian, to love well”. I had a friend put it like this, “The people you are upset about, are they Christians? If not, why would you expect them to act like Christians? If they are Christians then you have an obligation to confront them about their behavior.” If they are not Christians why would you expect anything else?
God calls us to love others. Jesus addressed this in Luke chapter 6; He said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” lend to “sinners”, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.”
If we follow Jesus’ instructions, we will begin to live, act and behave the way He did. We are called to imitate Jesus and follow His example. Doing so gives an opportunity for these bad behaving people to recognize you are acting different. The hope is they will ask you why you act different. This is your opportunity to explain the hope that is in you. This is your opportunity to share the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, with those who do not know Him.
In verse 9 David says, “All mankind will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what He has done.” Romans 14:11 says, “It is written; “As surely as I live, says the LORD, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.” This is a description of what will happen at judgment. The key is to do this during this life. This confession must be made in faith. If they do not confess Him this side of heaven, they will do it on their knees before God in heaven. It is the confession made in faith that saves us.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t bring me complaints, bring me solutions.”? I think we have seen, in this psalm, both the complaint and the solution. Now we just have to live it out, or as an old friend used to say, we have to love it out.
Investigational Resources: Matthew 5:46, Luke 6:32-36.
Officer Safety Principle: Our complaint is valid but our job is the imitation and explanation of Jesus Christ, our LORD.
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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