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Work Ethic

Briefing: Law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard. Our work ethic should be beyond reproach.

Dispatch (Assignment): When you are on duty are you a hard worker, running from call to call? Do you have self-initiated activity or do you show up for work, take your calls and collect a pay check?

On the Street: If law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard, should a Christian law enforcement officer be held to an even higher standard? I believe if you pick up and carry the Christian banner, you have an obligation to aim for excellence in everything you do. You are a representative of Jesus Christ.

We all know what a good work ethic looks like. Why is it that the guys who work hard get picked on so much? Maybe it is not the same where you come from but in my experiences, the guy who goes out and does it the right way, usually ends up being chastised.

Recently I walked in on a couple of officers making a joke about another officer, who obviously was not around. These cowards were calling him a boy scout. I was confused because it was obvious they were making fun of this officer but I don’t consider being called a boy scout derogatory. They explained that this officer was a goody-goody and a kiss up. That was all they had on this guy. He was a good person and a hard worker. The truth was they did not like him. People with good work ethics tend to shine a light that exposes the lazy people around them. When the lazy people are exposed, they get embarrassed and lash out. Do not be discouraged by the sluggards.

Proverbs 6:6-11 (NIV), “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.”

Proverbs 10:4-5 (NIV), “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.”

Proverbs 10:26 (HCSB), “Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so the slacker is to the one who sends him on an errand.”

Proverbs 12:11 (HCSB), “The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases fantasies lacks sense.”

Proverbs 12:14 (HCSB), “A man will be satisfied with good by the words of his mouth, and the work of a man’s hands will reward him.”

Proverbs 12:24 (HCSB), “The diligent hand will rule, but laziness will lead to forced labor.”

Proverbs 12:27 (HCSB), “A lazy man doesn’t roast his game, but to a diligent man, his wealth is precious.”

Proverbs 13:4 (HCSB), “The slacker craves, yet has nothing, but the diligent is fully satisfied.”

Proverbs 14:4 (HCSB), “Where there are no oxen, the feeding trough is empty, but an abundant harvest comes through the strength of an ox.”

Proverbs 14:23-24 (HCSB), “There is profit in all hard work, but endless talk leads only to poverty. The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the foolishness of fools produces foolishness.”

Proverbs 15:19-20 (HCSB), “A slacker’s way is like a thorny hedge, but the path of the upright is a highway. A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother.”

Proverbs 16:26 (HCSB), “A worker’s appetite works for him because his hunger urges him on.”

Proverbs 18:9 (KNJV), “He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.”

Proverbs 19:15 (HCSB), “Laziness induces deep sleep, and a lazy person will go hungry.”

Proverbs 19:24 (HCSB), “The slacker buries his hand in the bowl; he doesn’t even bring it back to his mouth!”

Proverbs 20:4 (HSCB), “The slacker does not plow during planting season; at harvest time he looks, and there is nothing.”

Proverbs 20:13 (HCSB), “Don’t love sleep, or you will become poor; open your eyes, and you’ll have enough to eat.”

Proverbs 21:5 (HCSB), “The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit, but anyone who is reckless certainly becomes poor.”

Proverbs 21:17 (HCSB), “The one who loves pleasure will become a poor man; whoever loves wine and oil will not get rich.”

Proverbs 21:25 (HCSB), “A slacker’s craving will kill him because his hands refuse to work.”

Proverbs 22:13 (HCSB), “The slacker says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!”

Proverbs 22:29 (HCSB), “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand in the presence of kings. He will not stand in the presence of unknown men.”

Proverbs 23:20-21 (NIV), “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”

Proverbs 24:10 (HCSB), “If you do nothing in a difficult time, your strength is limited!”

Proverbs 24:27 (HCSB), “Complete your outdoor work, and prepare your field; afterward, build your house.”

Proverbs 27:18 (HCSB), “Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever looks after his master will be honored.”

Proverbs 28:19 (HCSB), “The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.”

Here is a good exercise. Take each one of these verses and put them on a 3×5 card. Read one each day before your start your shift and try to live out the principle stated in the proverb. Once you have rotated through all the cards, check your level of work ethic and see if you can tell a difference.

Investigational Resources: Matthew 25:14-30, Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, Colossians 3:23, John 6:27

Officer Safety Principle: In all your work, at home or on the job, work as if your supervisor was Jesus.

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!