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Daily Devotional - "Through the Eyes of a Cop"

Mercy

Briefing: What is your definition of mercy? How do you apply it in your job?

Dispatch (Assignment): Research your laws and policies and see how many times you come across an option to offer mercy to an offender.

On the Street: Webster's dictionary has two good definitions of mercy. The first one defines it as compassion to an offender or to one subject to one's power. The second one is a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion.

How does this apply to my job? Certain areas of our law enforcement duties give us discretion when taking enforcement action. When I was a younger officer, I took that to mean that I should arrest everyone I caught violating the law. As I have aged, I realize that it means the opposite of that. The law allowed for me to take enforcement action on everyone that I observed violating the law; discretion (mercy) gave me the legal authority to have mercy in certain situations.

I believe that God has called men and women to this job for the expressed purpose of carrying out justice. Romans 13:1-5 says that God has put people in positions of authority. He chose who He wanted to be there. These people are God's servants to do good. It goes further to state, "but if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing." These in authority (police) are to be God's agents, to do good or bring punishment.

Jesus desires mercy, not sacrifice. An act of mercy and an act of sacrifice can look identical. The difference is intention and attitude. Jesus is warning us of our heart condition. Mercy requires personal involvement (an act of the heart), while sacrifice is most often impersonal (an act of the will).

Highlights from this Read: Verse nine tells about Matthew. In other versions, we see Matthew is called Levi. This can be a really fun independent study. See how many times, in the Bible, God changes someone's name.

Matthew was a tax collector. Tax collectors were the most hated people in all of Israel. I wonder how accepted he was by the other disciples.

In verse eleven, the Pharisees were at Matthew's house watching Jesus eating with tax collectors. What were they doing there?

Investigational Resources: Mark 2:14-17 and Luke 5:27-32.

Officer Safety Principle: How often do you show mercy or give mercy? Is your attitude toward mercy the same when you are off duty as it is when you are on duty?

from The Gospel of Matthew 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!

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Greater St. Louis Chapter Meeting
7:00 p.m. | St. Charles, MO
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Milwaukee Chapter Meeting
9:00 a.m. | Milwaukee, WI
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04
Cops of Faith Chapter Meeting
8:00 a.m. | Westminster, MD
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