We Change, God Does Not Change
Briefing: Have you ever known someone to change over time? When I was in college, I was not a very responsible person. I did not go to most of my classes, I spent money without considering if I had enough left for food or rent, I procrastinated, and I had a very selfish outlook on life. When I got hired as a police officer and started the Dallas Police Academy, I changed very quickly. I learned a new way of doing things that was almost opposite of how I had lived for the previous four years. This new concept was called discipline.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 36.
On the Street: 1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” As human beings grow and mature, they change. Our taste in food, our taste in entertainment, our priorities and desires change, too. Change can be unpredictable. Some people change in their teens, some in mid-life, and some people never seem to grow up or change.
Life changes are not always on the path to maturity. Sometimes people regress. Growing up, I used to hear about the “mid-life crisis” or the “middle-aged crazies”. I have not seen that in my life or any of my friend’s lives. I have to wonder, was that just a generational thing or an excuse for bad behavior?
David obviously saw a life change in someone he knew. This oracle was like an epiphany. Sometimes we can be so close to someone that we don’t see them changing. We can find ourselves making excuses for them or waiting for the person we knew to return. David’s eyes were opened to someone he was close to. He seemed to wake up one morning and realize this person was not the person he thought they were, or they changed over time and he was just waking up to the reality of who they really were. He describes this in verses 1-4. This person has turned to evil.
This can be difficult to deal with but what if you are the person who has changed? What if the years of stress and heartache has changed you? You may have gotten into law enforcement with a tender heart and a compassionate spirit. Your goals and desires may have been to help people in your community. I think we all start out with that fresh attitude but there is something that happens to men and women who work in law enforcement. We begin to get jaded and suspicious of everyone and everything. Our soft, tender hearts become calloused after years of being disappointed and exposed to the evils of society. Like it or not, we change.
We must change and adapt in some cases to protect ourselves but if we let that change spill over into our personal lives it can destroy us. If we let that change go too deep into our hearts it will change us into someone we never wanted to be. We must recognize and control the spread of having a disconnection with what goes on around us. This is the part of the job that affects our spirit. The spirit is the part of the job we don’t talk about, we don’t get any training for, and we don’t want to hear about. But there is hope for the ones whose trust is in God.
No matter how much we change, God stays the same. In verses 5-9 we can see that we serve a God who is not changed by our circumstances. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” This is a promise you can build on.
In verse 10 David writes, “Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.” When you get down to the truth, this is all we have. We can only count on God and His never ending love for us. He says He will never leave or forsake us, no matter how far we try to run from Him. You can run from God all your life but know that as soon as you turn around, He is there to take you back. If you have changed to someone you don’t want to be, just cry out to God. Pray to Him and seek out Bible believing Christians who can help you. The Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers will help to connect you with believers in law enforcement who will help you. Knowing God is our Rock is comforting, He is someone we can trust that loves us despite the person we have become or the things we have done.
Investigational Resources: Psalm 102:27, Luke 15:11-32.
Officer Safety Principle: Our Heavenly Father is just waiting for you to come back to Him. He is waiting with open arms.
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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