Law enforcement is a critical–nay absolute necessity in our society. That’s because all of us are lawless in our hearts (if you don’t believe me, try driving on the interstate at the speed limit and see how often you are passed).
One of the consequences, however, of creating a law enforcement infrastructure is that we are exposing a segment of our citizens (police officers) to that which is worst in human nature–to an excessive degree. To say that such exposure has a profound effect on the mental and emotional well-being of our police personnel is the understatement of the decade.
I confess that it is difficult for me to imagine choosing a career for myself in which I would start each workday without the assurance of a high probability I will return home that same day alive.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” – Jesus Christ, John 15:13
Those who engage in a law enforcement career for the purpose of putting themselves in harm’s way on behalf of their fellow man deserve our respect, cooperation, and a continuous supply of honor and recognition…along with a generous compensation package.
The Bible gives clear instruction on how we should engage those who protect and serve us:
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
“Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good.
“But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” – Romans 13:1-4
This being said, seeing on a continual basis the worst in human nature can disillusion, disappoint, depress and embitter a law enforcement officer. Coupled with corruption and political selfishness in those in the upper ranks they look to for leadership, officers can face many moral and spiritual challenges.
In the current crisis that exist between law enforcement and the minority communities they serve, we would do well to remember the men and women of law enforcement in our prayers; and, when the opportunities present themselves, take the time to encourage and befriend an officer–on or off duty.