When is Good, Good Enough?
Briefing: Does living a devoted Christian life guarantee a good life on earth? If you do your best to live by the teachings of Christ and be a “good person”, will you still face trouble from man? I knew an officer who got a citizen complaint because he smiled at the complainant during their encounter. The complainant thought the officer was being patronizing and not sincere. Who gets complained on for smiling?!?!
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 26.
On the Street: Is there a difference between spiritual goodness vs. earthly goodness? Humans do not do a good job of recognizing acts of kindness or good deeds. Look at the news stories. How much of the news is dominated by bad news? Flesh is not going to be consistent in recognizing goodness and righteousness. Fortunately, you can count on God to recognize and reward righteousness. How do you feel when you are doing the best you can yet people only seem to notice the mistakes and negative things but never the good?
A couple of years ago I surveyed a group of Christian police officers. One of the questions I asked was, “what are some of the issues you face on duty that you would like to have some Biblical understanding or direction on?” I was surprised to find that most officers deal with loneliness and/or lack of support as a Christian while on the job. David finds himself in a similar circumstance. He is working hard to be the kind of man and leader that God has called him to be but he is surrounded by crude, dishonorable individuals. In this Psalm, you can almost feel the desperation he is experiencing in his loneliness.
David cries out, “Vindicate me, O LORD”. This is a desperate plea to God. He is so frustrated with those around him. The rest of the world seems to be running contrary to the way God intended and David does not understand why. Have you felt this way? I certainly have.
In verse 4 David writes, “I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites; I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked.” This is important because these same actions are spelled out in Psalm 1:1. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” David knows God’s expectations for living a righteous life and he is doing his very best to live up to them.
So how do we move past the frustration and disappointment to a place where we are the joyous, loving, peaceful, patient, kind, good, gentle, faithful and self-controlled individuals God has called us to be? We give it up to God. Do you think David’s circumstances caught God off guard or surprised Him? No. And neither does our circumstance. We have to trust God and know that He has this all under control. We must continue to live out the righteousness he has called us to and be the Christian example. We are on a long journey that is going to have ups and downs. We have to be prepared for both. If you are waiting for a reward in this life you will be disappointed.
Investigational Resources: Psalm 1.
Officer Safety Principle: Store up for yourself treasures in heaven. The rewards we are looking for are not always going to be found in this life. We have a very proud Father who is collecting them and waiting to give them to us once we get home.
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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