Briefing: Kindness is one of those things you learned in kindergarten. It’s one of the reasons for the saying, “All I ever really needed to know I learned in kindergarten.”
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Ephesians chapter 6 and list the fruits of the Spirit.
On the Street: Kindness is a learned behavior. It is not human nature to be kind. We see this in infants and toddlers. We are born with a natural tendency to be selfish. We cry and throw temper tantrums when we do not get our way. Kindness is contrary to human nature and is in stark contrast to selfishness.
Do we need kindness in law enforcement? Of course we do, it is as much a part of our job as officer presence. There is a time to kick butt and take names and there is a time to show kindness. Proverbs gives the Christian law enforcement officer a better understanding of when and how to use kindness.
I recently learned about an officer at work who brings $20 a week to give to people she comes into contact with. She doesn’t just hand out money but she looks for people in need and opportunities to show kindness. I have known this officer for 15 years and never knew she did this. Keeping it a secret is part of kindness. She does not do it so people will give her praise. She does it out of a pure heart with right motives and intentions.
If we are a Christ follower then there will be evidence of kindness in our lives. Go back to the list you wrote down from Ephesians chapter 6.
Proverbs gives us some examples of how to show kindness and some examples of unkind behavior:
Proverbs 11:16-17 (NKJV), “A gracious woman retains honor, but ruthless men retain riches. The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”
Proverbs 11:24-25 (NKJV), “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”
Proverbs 11:27 (NKJV), “He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, but trouble will come to him who seeks evil.”
Proverbs 12:10 (NIV), “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”
Proverbs 14:14 (NIV), “The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good rewarded for theirs.”
Proverbs 14:21 (NKJV), “He who despises his neighbor sins; but he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.”
Proverbs 14:31 (NKJV), “He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.”
Proverbs 15:1 (NKJV), “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 19:11 (HCSB), “A person’s insight gives him patience, and his virtue is to overlook an offense.”
Proverbs 19:17 (HCSB), “Kindness to the poor is a loan to the Lord, and He will give a reward to the lender.”
Proverbs 22:9 (NIV), “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.”
Proverbs 25:21-22 (KNJV), “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”
Proverbs 28:27 (NIV), “Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.”
Investigational Resources: Matthew 6:3, Luke 6:27-36
Officer Safety Principle: Plant seeds of kindness and see what kind of harvest you receive.
from The Book of Proverbs Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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