This I Believe

Brad - Evansville, Indiana
Entered on August 4, 2008

THIS I BELIEVE

I believe we should honor and respect God and in turn respect each other, since we are made in His image. I have been in the police business for 27 years. In those years I have seen people who have acted anything but godlike. I have seen people treat other people like animals or objects. I am convinced that evil is very real. I have also discovered that generally people respond better when they are shown respect. I receive more cooperation when I look past the crime they just committed and treat them better than their behavior deserves.

It is easy in police work to get cynical and hardened, because we get a distorted view of the human condition. We are rarely called to come and celebrate good times with people. We are called when things are going badly and it is one of their worst days. I warn new officers to guard their hearts. Matthew 24:12 in the New Testament of the Bible states, “…because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.â€? We see an inordinate amount of lawlessness by nature of the job. It is easy to let the love grow cold. We can begin to be motivated by retribution or revenge, when in fact our motive should be love. Love for God, family, community, and country.

We all stumble in this life. Police officers do too. We are still restricted to recruiting from the human race. We need to sprinkle grace in our daily interactions with each other. Officers have one of those rare positions in our society that carries the authority to take people’s freedom from them. We Americans place great stock in our freedom. We police officers must be very careful that we are right when we take away that freedom.

I believe the profession of police work should be treated as a ministry rather than a job. It is a God ordained profession that is unfortunately necessary in this world. The first few verses of Romans in the New Testament address this. We don’t carry the sword in vain. Weapons are again unfortunately necessary in carrying out our ministry in society. If we automatically commanded respect and obedience they would be unnecessary, but we know that is not the case.

I believe respect has grown out of fashion today with a lot of people. Respect for authority. Respect for your elders. Those terms have become almost quaint. The terms of respect have been replaced with profanity and insults that we have come to accept and expect even during the family hours of TV viewing.

I believe this would be a better world if we all treated each other better than we deserve. Then we would begin to resemble our Creator.

…This I believe.