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Briefing: Police have the highest suicide rate in the nation. They have the second highest divorce rate and are twice as likely as a non-LEO to become an alcoholic.

Dispatch (Assignment): Sit down with your co-workers and put together a list of how each of you deal with stress then share your list with each other. Read Matthew 6:25-34.

On the Street: Hans Selye is the foremost researcher on stress in the world. He says that police work is “the most stressful occupation in America, even surpassing the formidable stresses of air traffic control.” I know this does not come as a shock to anyone who does this job, but knowing it, and seeing someone else recognize it are two different things.

We can’t change the kind of stress that we deal with but we can work on the way we deal with it. Jesus gives us a simple way of dealing with worry and stress. He lays out all of our basic needs and tells us that it is silly for us to kill ourselves by worrying about things that are totally out of our control. It is pointless.

Jesus gives us the key in verse thirty-three. He says, “But seek first His kingdom”. We have to take our focus off of ourselves and our problems and seek Him first. “And His righteousness” says to me that we should pattern our lives after His life in an attempt to live righteous. Jesus finishes out the verse by saying, “and all these things will be given to you as well.”

There is life in verse thirty-four (as in most of the Bible) where Jesus commands us, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” If I could just remember this verse I could greatly reduce the amount of stress I have in my life.

Highlights from this Read: In verse twenty-nine, Jesus referred to Solomon. Solomon was an Israelite king who was granted wisdom from God, so much so that there had never been a man up to that point who could surpass his wisdom.

Investigational Resources: After my grandmother died, I was blessed with the opportunity to look through her Bible and see the notes that she had written on the pages. In the margin by 1 Peter 5:6-7 she wrote, “This is the solution to depression”. Read it and see what you think.

Another great resource on living a life with less stress is the book of Proverbs. To see this passage from Luke’s perspective, see Luke 12:22-31.

Officer Safety Principle: I challenge you to get into a daily read and prayer life with the Lord. I believe if you do this and allow God to work in your life, you will see a dramatic reduction of stress in your life. When you feel stressed or depressed, seek fellowship with another believer.

from The Gospel of Matthew 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!