The Bible says in Ephesians 5:20 (NLT), “And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
For the last decade, and especially the last two years, the American public has been bombarded with media driven political, racial and religious hatred. Half truths and full lies, rumors and personal opinions disguised as truths have raged from every media outlet, politician and most of us. And make no mistake, a half truth is a full lie. And while this unspeakable anger was continuing to grow, so was the stress and business of life, police work, school and family! I think most were feeling like they were in a pressure cooker ready to explode! I’m talking to professing followers of Jesus Christ.
I have found that there are only two kinds of people in the world, saved and lost. There is no middle ground, you are either one or the other. We should never think or expect lost society to act like they are saved. They are only operating and acting like lost people. Jesus tells us in Luke 6:28, “Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” The Apostle Paul tells us in Acts 26:17-18 that he was sent to the gentiles, “to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me (Jesus).” As followers of Jesus, we are set apart; we are to look, talk and act differently than the lost. Have you been acting like a follower of Jesus or have you been acting like the lost? Can the lost in your department tell the difference between you and your lost colleagues? Those questions are totally between you and God.
I don’t know about you but I did not see this hatred for all things, this need for lost and saved people to “vent” their anger and rage at anything and anyone ending. In fact, it appeared to be growing like an uncontrollable wildfire! Everywhere I went, people were angry at something. The Bible says “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” (James 1:19-20). The Bible says, “And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil” (Ephesians 4:25-27). Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:43-43, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies!”
There is no exception clause in the Bible for law enforcement or anyone in law enforcement. In fact, we are examples of Jesus for everyone to look at. James 1:22 says, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” Reading, studying and living out what our Lord teaches us in the Bible doesn’t make us weak, it makes us incredibly strong and powerful! This will set us apart from the lost and give us great confidence in what we do on the job.
Why title this, "Thankful in the Coronavirus Pandemic"? Because right now in most of the world and especially here in America, all are in some type of quarantine situation. No public activities, no running the kids from one event to another, no police extra jobs, no business meeting after meeting, we can’t even eat out at a restaurant. Families are having to spend time together as families; meals are being prepared and eaten at home; the overload on the internet is messing things up; maybe we can dust off the old board games. Family is having to be family.
Most importantly, have you heard? Listen - do you hear it? It appears because of this pandemic and quarantine the anger and hatred has subsided. Maybe, just maybe dear believers, we are seeing what truly is important. Many are extremely sick and many have already died. Jesus said in Mark 8:36-37 NLT, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Our anger, hatred and worthless opinions don’t seem so important right now.
The Bible says Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure o f this : I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NLT)
I write this because I love each and every one of you. I pray that all of your families stay healthy. May we all use this time to stop and really reflect on what is important. May we use this time to really reunite with our families. As families, may we take this down time to repent of all of our sins that the world has caught us up in and return to Christ our Lord and Savior. May we use this time to put down the cell phone and remote and pick up our Bibles.
God makes it very clear in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, “At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
Paul Lee, Executive Director (Retired Captain, Chattanooga P.D.)
Paul Lee retired from the Chattanooga Police Department with 29 years of service. He has been an FCPO member since 1995, is a former Chapter Chairman and has served in various capacities on the National Board.