Briefing: Does your department have rules about being truthful? Are there consequences for not being truthful?
Dispatch (Assignment): If you have been a law enforcement officer for any amount of time, I would guess you are pretty good at knowing when someone is lying to you. What is the most recent example of someone who lied to you?
On the Street: Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” As Americans we expect truth, justice and the American way. As law-enforcement officers we are taught to seek the truth. Why does the line between right and wrong start to blur? Why do things that should be black and white start to fade to gray? Why do we distort the truth?
Are there any absolutes in this world? Is truth an absolute? Growing up, I would always hear people say, “The only thing that is certain in this world is death and taxes.” Years later, while reading the Bible I learned that Enoch and Elijah never died.
If you watch NFL football during pre-season, one of the things the commentators talk about are the new rule changes. Every year the NFL gets together and tweaks rules of the game. I don’t know about you but when I was growing up, rules were rules and they did not change. If you tried to change the rules it was called cheating.
When I was in police academy, I was told to learn the Penal Code and remember it because it would never change. One instructor called it the police officer’s Bible. I find that funny. He called it the police officer’s Bible because he thought it was absolute, never to change. That is like man saying the Titanic was unsinkable and, “God Himself cannot sink this ship.” In both of these examples, the person is comparing something to an absolute truth: the Bible and God. Even though both statements are irreverent they both show the sovereignty and truth that is God.
Look back at Pilate’s statement. He was so wrapped up in politics and in pleasing man that he lost sight of right and wrong. He was desperate and confused man who had lost faith and hope in things he thought were true. His political advancements and the things he was living his life for turned out to be false.
Make sure you know the Truth. Jesus said,“I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me.”
Proverbs 11:13 (HCSB), “A gossip goes around revealing a secret, but a trustworthy person keeps a confidence.”
Proverbs 12:17-22 (HCSB), “Whoever speaks the truth declares what is right, but a false witness, deceit. There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword; but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue, only a moment. Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy. No disaster overcomes the righteous, but the wicked are full of misery. Lying lips are detestable to the Lord, but faithful people are His delight.”
Proverbs 13:5 (NIV), “The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked make themselves a stench and bring shame on themselves.”
Proverbs 14:5 (HCSB), “An honest witness does not deceive, but a dishonest witness utters lies.”
Proverbs 14:25 (HCSB), “A truthful witness rescues lives, but one who utters lies is deceitful.”
Proverbs 16:13 (NIV), “Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right.”
Proverbs 19:5 (HCSB), “A false witness will not go unpunished, and one who utters lies will not escape.”
Proverbs 19:9 (HCSB), “A false witness will not go unpunished, and one who utters lies perishes.”
Proverbs 22:17-21 (NIV), “Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you. Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge, teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth, so that you bring back truthful reports to those you serve?”
Proverbs 24:26 (HCSB), “He who gives an honest answer gives a kiss on the lips.”
Proverbs 25:14 (HCSB), “The man who boasts about a gift that does not exist is like clouds and wind without rain.”
Proverbs 25:18 (HCSB), “A man giving false testimony against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, or a sharp arrow.”
Proverbs 30:7-9 (NIV), “Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”
Investigational Resources: John 1:17, 8:32, 16:13, 17:3, 1 Timothy 6:20, 1 Corinthians 1:17-26, 30, 2 Corinthians 4:6, Isaiah 29:14-16, 1 John 2:27, 5:20, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1Peter 1:25
Officer Safety Principle: Truth is a compass that points to God; don’t lose sight of the truth.
from The Book of Proverbs 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!