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Briefing: Intentions is a good law enforcement term. It is an integral part of the elements of an offense (knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally).

Dispatch (Assignment): How often do you stop to check your intentions? What are some things in your life you are intentional about?

On the Street: Intentions are not always recognizable. It’s not like a smoking gun or physical evidence. Intention is when someone is determined to act in a certain way. You could say it is a person’s “will” or what they “want” to do.

We need to be careful about our intentions. We can’t hide them. In the Star Wars movies, the evil Darth Sidious creates an alter personality called Palpatine. He deceives everyone and lays the groundwork that leads to him gaining control of the republic in hopes to destroy it from within. His intentions were not recognized by anyone until it was too late. We can sometimes hide our intentions by deceit and lies but there is one who cannot be fooled.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV). We cannot fool God. He knows our intentions.

Galatians 6:7 (NIV), “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” If you harbor hate in your heart toward someone and you act on it, even if you think no one knows or you would never get caught, you will have to answer for it. This is a Biblical principle. James McDonald calls it, “The Law of the Harvest” It is one of the most impactful sermons I have ever heard. I listen to it every spring. Look it up, you won’t regret it.

Proverbs 6:12-15 (NIV), “A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart, he always stirs up conflict. Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed without remedy.”

Proverbs 6:16-18 (NKJV), “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil”.

Proverbs 10:10 (HCSB), “A sly wink of the eye causes grief, and foolish lips will be destroyed.”

Proverbs 14:22 (HCSB), “Don’t those who plan evil go astray? But those who plan good find loyalty and faithfulness.”

Proverbs 16:2 (NKJV), “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits.”

Proverbs 17:3 (NKJV), “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts.”

Proverbs 17:13 (NKJV), “Whoever rewards evil for good, evil will not depart from his house.”

Proverbs 20:14-17 (NKJV), “It is good for nothing,” cries the buyer; but when he has gone his way, then he boasts. There is gold and a multitude of rubies, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger, and hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress. Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.”

Proverbs 21:2 (NIV), “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.”

Proverbs 24:9 (HCSB), “A foolish scheme is sin, and a mocker is detestable to people”

Proverbs 24:12 (HCSB), “If you say, “But we didn’t know about this,” won’t He who weighs hearts consider it? Won’t He who protects your life know? Won’t He repay a person according to his work?”

Proverbs 24:29 (NIV), “Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.”

Proverbs 28:10 (NKJV), “Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, he himself will fall into his own pit; but the blameless will inherit good.”

Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV), “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

Proverbs 29:5-6 (NIV), “Those who flatter their neighbors are spreading nets for their feet. Evildoers are snared by their own sin, but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.”

Investigational Resources: Leviticus 4:1, 13, 22, 27, 1 Corinthians 4:15

Officer Safety Principle: Truth and sincerity are so very important in our lives. If we lived according to these we would not have to worry about our intentions.

from The Book of Proverbs Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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