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The Beatitudes

Briefing: Does your department have a code of conduct? Do you work for an agency that has policies and procedures that have nicknames like, the “Chuck” rule (these are policies written because of the actions of a single person)? Because man is sinful, human civilizations have had to make rules to govern our behavior.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Matthew 5:1-12 then write down, in your own words, what the Beatitudes mean to you.

On the Street: In these verses, Jesus is not giving us a new law. Laws provide negative consequences for unacceptable behavior. In part, they are a deterrent. What Jesus is giving us is the opposite of law. These are blessings for God-pleasing behavior.

An interesting thing about the Beatitudes is the fact that they are a mirror image of the Christian life as it progresses in maturity. Jesus blesses the poor in spirit as they humble themselves and cry out to God to save them. He blesses those who mourn over their own sin, making a complete one hundred and eighty degree change in behavior (repenting). He blesses those who are self-controlled and those who strive to know God’s Word.

Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. This is a great independent study. Search your Bible for mirrored verses. For example, Jesus said that God will forgive those who forgive their brothers but He will not forgive those who do not forgive their brothers.

Jesus blesses the pure in heart, the peacemakers and those who are persecuted because of righteousness. Lastly, He saves the greatest blessing for those who are insulted, persecuted and lied against because of the stand they take for Christ.

Highlights from this Read: What would this profession look like if we taught the Beatitudes in Police Academies? LEOs are expected to have integrity, honor, be courageous and be truthful. There is not a better guide for these characteristics than the Bible! Verse three tells us to be humble (strength under control). Verse four teaches us not to be prideful and arrogant. How many times has your pride written a check that you could not cash? In verse five, we learn to be righteous by clean living. We see in verse six that we should seek God’s truth and apply it in our lives. Verse seven tells us to be merciful and we will receive mercy. I was never taught that. I was told to kick butt and take names. Verse eight says to have a pure heart, integrity and character. How refreshing! Verse nine is a lesson all unto itself. Be a peacemaker. Not just a peace officer but a peacemaker. Ten tells us to stand up for what is right. Isn’t this our calling as law enforcement officers? Lastly, we are told to love Jesus and follow His example. He is the greatest leader of all time. ALL TIME!!! How many other people do you know that have time marked by their birth and death?

Investigational Resources: Galatians 5:22-23 is the list of the Fruits of the Spirit. This is another list of Christian characteristics we should learn from and utilize. Luke includes this teaching in his version found in Luke 6:20-23.

Officer Safety Principle: Memorize the Beatitudes. Many officers will memorize phonetic alphabets, 10 codes, exact chapter and verses of law, and Miranda warnings. How many scriptures do you know? The Beatitudes are a great place to start.

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!