Briefing: As a law enforcement officer, what do you have hope for? An end to crime? World peace? Justice for all? If the criminal justice system had a united mission statement that spelled out our end goal, what would that be?
Dispatch (Assignment): Think back on all of your training and list your answers to the above questions.
On the Street: What did you come up with? Protect and react are about the nearest ideas I could find. Law enforcement does not do a good job with hope. It’s not one of those concepts we use much. We know there will always be crime and we will always be reacting to it. In our dark humor we call it job security.
The Bible says that until Jesus comes back, all we can do is work hard at keeping lawlessness at bay. We can’t conquer injustice and there will be no world peace. If this is true, then what am I doing wasting my time as a police officer? I have hope in Jesus.
Statistically, law enforcement officers are just as hopeless off duty as on duty. We don’t seem to anchor ourselves in hope. If we did our divorce rate would not be 20% higher than the national average. Our suicide rate and alcoholism rates would not be twice the national average and the number of law enforcement officers who associate themselves with being a Christian would not be around 10%. We are a hopeless group of people who desperately need Jesus Christ.
If you are one of the 10% of law enforcement officers who are Christians, Proverbs has some good news for us: hope. Proverbs 24:13-14 (NIV), “Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
If you are in the 90% of law enforcement officers who are not a follower of Jesus Christ, you can be. Proverbs 14:27 (NIV), “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.” If you are to a place where you are ready to choose life and turn from death, cry out to God. Believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. Know that He died on a cross to save you. Understand that you will live for Him and not yourself and have the wisdom to follow through.
Proverbs 15:30 (NIV) says, “Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” This tells me that a person who brings you the gospel (the word gospel means good news) gives you strength and hope.
I have listed a couple of other Proverbs on hope. If your hope is in Jesus then you are His righteousness.
Proverbs 10:28 (NKJV), “The hope of the righteous will be gladness, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.”
Proverbs 11:7 (NKJV), “When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, and the hope of the unjust perishes.”
Proverbs 11:23 (NKJV), “The desire of the righteous is only good, but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.”
Proverbs 13:12 (KNJV), “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”
Proverbs 13:19 (HCSB), “Desire fulfilled is sweet to the taste, but to turn from evil is an abomination to fools.”
Our hope should be firmly placed in Jesus’ redeeming blood. As a law enforcement officer, my hope is to glorify Him in all that I say and do and pray for an opportunity to share hope with those who need it. Like Proverbs 15:30 (NIV) says, “Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” I want to be that messenger who has the love of Jesus all over me. Jesus said in Matthew 6:22 (NIV), “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.”
Investigational Resources: Psalm 25, 33, 39:7, Matthew 12:21, Romans 5:1-5, 15:13, Colossians 1:27
Officer Safety Principle: Proverbs 23:18, “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
from The Book of Proverbs Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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