Briefing: Have you ever given a traffic ticket? Have you ever gotten caught violating traffic laws?
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Romans 2:1-16.
On the Street: I remember in elementary school when every kid had to plant beans in a plastic cup. The point of the exercise was for us to learn about how plants grow. When you plant beans you expect a bean plant to grow. Would you expect your bean plant to produce carrots? No, beans come from bean plants, carrots come from carrot seeds. In other words, you harvest what you plant.
The “mirror image” is very prevalent in the Bible. Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy, forgive others and your Heavenly Father will forgive you. The actions we take will return on us. You reap what you sew. Verse six, in this chapter, says you will get according to what you have done.
In this passage the author gives us a word picture. We can see the image of ourselves looking in the mirror, pointing a finger at ourselves and condemning ourselves of sin. Hypocrites, on the other hand, condemn and accuse other people of doing the same things they are doing. In Matthew 7:3-5, Jesus asks us, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Jesus did not like hypocrisy and neither should we, especially in our own lives.
I think the reason Jesus did not like hypocrisy is because there is no love in hypocrisy, only pride and hypocrisy is the opposite of integrity. Verse eight, in Romans 2, uses the term self-seeking. Pride is self-seeking. The best way to avoid this is through humility. If we understand and confront our own sin it is much easier to help others with their sin. Love helps others with their sin. Jesus does not say don’t pull the splinter (sin) out of your brothers eye, He says take the plank (sin) out of your own eye first, then you can see clearly to help your brother with his sin.
This has huge ramifications for law enforcement. We cannot be hypocrites. Do you go out on your day off and drink and drive, only to get on duty and enforce the DUI/DWI laws? Remember the words of Jesus and apply them to yourself. He is not saying don’t enforce the DUI/DWI laws, He is saying stop committing the violation yourself, then you can see clearly to enforce the laws.
Verse ten says if you do good, there will be glory, honor and peace for you. This is the mirror image of what good people do, found in verse seven. Remember, good works will not get you into heaven but are required of the Christian.
Investigational Resources: Galatians 6:7-8, Ephesians 5:15-18.
Officer Safety Principle: There is a good way to remember this. It was popularized back in the 1990’s. It was on bumper stickers, bracelets and t-shirts. It was soon forgotten my most but it still applies today, “What Would Jesus Do?” or better yet, ask yourself, “What Did Jesus Do?”. Be a reflection of Jesus.
from The Book of Romans Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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