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Following Up On Jesus’ Prayer

Briefing: How well do you get along with other law enforcement agencies? Do you consider the members of your agency or department like family?

Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 17:20-26.

On the Street: I had always heard that law enforcement was one big happy family. They looked out for each other and had each other’s back. When I got my first law enforcement job, I had bought into the idea of a family of blue. I quickly learned that we (law enforcement officers) were a family, but like most families, we were dysfunctional. There was definitely camaraderie among law enforcement officers but there was also jealousy, anger, and distrust. I didn’t understand why but we (big city officers) did not like the DEA. Officers told me that DEA meant, “Don’t Expect Anything”; they promise but don’t deliver. FBI meant, “Forget Being Informed”; they don’t share information. None of the city cops liked the Highway Patrol because they would give city police officers speeding tickets. I was told it was because we always made fun of them for being meter maids who only wrote tickets.

I am blessed to be friends with State Troopers, Secret Service Agents, FBI Agents, Sheriff’s Officers, and city officers from all over the United States. My early distrust and dislike of officers and agents from different departments has faded away.

Jesus has a goal for all Christians to be united. In these passages we read about Jesus praying to God that we would be one. I don’t believe that dividing into denominations and having division is what He intended. According to the World Christian Encyclopedia (year 2000 version), there are 33,820 denominations. That is crazy! It’s worse than law enforcement. We have an agency for every type from Environmental Protective Agency police to Department of Agriculture police. There was a study of law enforcement agencies in 2008 and it shows that there were 14,169 different agencies in the U.S. Why all the division?

John 17:23 (NIV) Jesus continued His prayer to God, “I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me”. As I was writing this verse, I was immediately drawn to the fact that I had to list the version of the Bible I was using. Did you realize that we have 223 different English versions of the Bible to choose from?

What is it with us (humans) not being able to come together in unity like Jesus prayed for? Do you think if two people did not agree on something but they would agree to put their pride aside and pray for wisdom and God’s direction, they would be more unified today? If we would seek God’s will and not our own, we could avoid the conflicts that make us go in different directions and do “our own thing”.

What could you do in your own life to create unity? This is what Jesus prayed for yet we continue to split hairs and argue about everything. What happened to humility and love?

Investigational Resources: There is a great section in 1 Corinthians that explains how Christians can all work together. 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 is a section titled One Body, Many Parts (NIV). I don’t think it is any coincidence that it is followed up by the “love chapter”.

Officer Safety Principle: What can you do in your own family to restore unity? What can you do in your department/agency to restore unity?

from The Gospel of John 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!