The Police Business

Everybody has a stake in the police business. Yes, everybody including you. Most of us see law enforcement as us and them. Yes, there is the official law enforcement community at various levels: city police, sheriff, state troopers, game wardens, National Guard, the military and the list continues. Yet, peacekeeping is everybody’s business; mine and yours.

The need for law and order is embedded in every fabric of society. Even little babies need someone to help them with boundaries: fire is hot, poisons can kill, the rights of others must be respected. Without boundaries they become hazards to themselves and others. Homes, schools, businesses, churches, governments and even police forces cannot function very well without some measure of law and order.

At the heart of law and order are such factors as honesty, integrity, justice, personal responsibility and accountability, respect for the rights and property of others and obedience to God-ordained authority. (Oh yes, it’s pretty obvious that Jesus Christ was right in the bull’s-eye of where life really is!)

Just how do you insure “honesty, integrity, justice, personal responsibility and accountability, respect for the rights and property of others and obedience to God-ordained authority” in “homes, schools, businesses, churches governments and even police forces?” Do you keep raising taxes and hire more law enforcement officers? Will more and tougher laws do it? Is the answer stiffer penalties and more incarceration facilities? No, no, no! We all know better.

It is obvious that law enforcement starts in the heart. (Oh yes; there’s that Jesus stuff again.) Law, order and peace come when people learn to police themselves. Their own honesty (not a policeman) keeps them from taking what is not theirs. A bicycle in the yard or an unlocked car or home is safe. They don’t cheat on others by cutting in line: at the cafeteria or on the freeway. It is not a contract that makes them pay their bills. On time! It’s their own heart that makes them tell the truth and treat other people with respect and kindness. Before God their own heart moves them to do the right thing.

What happens to a society that leaves God out of the equation? Look around. America has been moving away from God for a long time. One of the ramifications is a diminishing of self-policing. With the diminishing of self-policing has come a steady rise in lawlessness, violence and civil disorder at every level of society: the breakup of homes, vastly increased crime, bigger and beefed up police forces at all levels, more incarceration facilities and a huge tax burden.

It is the personal responsibility of every person to police himself. Failure to do that ultimately breaks a society. As fewer and fewer people police themselves lawlessness, violence, bedlam and chaos grow to an unsustainable level. Usually a bloodbath takes place and a dictator with an iron fist steps up; everybody loses.

Who is your policeman? Who keeps you honest and doing the right thing? No Christian should need a policeman or a contract. Love for our God is enough. Oh how our world needs more Christians; not professors who wear the name but are void of the earmarks, but real Christians whose lives have been changed from the inside out by a personal meeting in the heart with Jesus Christ!