A God of Justice – A God Who Honors

Here is another article I wrote for Star News, a monthly publication for Law Enforcement personnel.

Our men and women behind the badge face untold challenges. One of those challenges is the battle with resentment. They give their lives to their profession and unfortunately, sometimes, for their profession. They do what they have been sworn to do, and do it professionally. Unfortunately at times, though they did everything right; the book was solid and the evidence clean, the suspect walks. I always thought of this as unfortunate, but recently had an experience that brought that reality to heart. I am called to be a man of peace and love, but I am also a man who wrestles with resentment. I see that the justice system sometimes fails us and evil people walk. The Scriptures tell us about these people in the book of Isaiah.

(Isaiah 59:3-8) Your hands are the hands of murderers, and your fingers are filthy with sin. Your mouth is full of lies, and your lips are tainted with corruption. No one cares about being fair and honest. Their lawsuits are based on lies. They spend their time plotting evil deeds and then doing them. They spend their time and energy spinning evil plans that end up in deadly actions. They cheat and shortchange everyone. Nothing they do is productive; all their activity is filled with sin. Violence is their trademark. Their feet run to do evil, and they rush to commit murder. They think only about sinning. Wherever they go, misery and destruction follow them. They do not know what true peace is or what it means to be just and good. They continually do wrong, and those who follow them cannot experience a moment’s peace.

Yet still they walk. Here was my dilemma, my battle to overcome resentment.

One April, our Captain asked me to offer the opening prayer for Law Day (a banquet organized by state and local politicians). This Law Day banquet was to give honor to Law Enforcement Personnel, Court Services, Corrections, Judges, and Attorneys; both Prosecution and Defense.

Through a misunderstanding, I thought that I was opening a “Law Enforcement Appreciation Banquet.” I had my thoughts in order, a prayer that asked God’s protection and blessing upon those I respect, that put their lives on the line to keep us safe. Fifteen minutes before I spoke, I learned that it was not only “Law Enforcement,” but also the lawyers, judges, and defense attorneys. It forced me to love others across difficult boundaries. I had to change the way I think.

I realized that when we do what we are called to do, to the best of our abilities, God is honored. The end results are insignificant to our blessing. God’s is pleased when His children do what He expects them to do, to fight injustice. Whether or not someone else allows them to “walk” has no bearing on the pride of doing it right. Nor does it affect God’s perspective of a job well done!

Supreme Court Justice Horace Gray once informed a man who had appeared before him in a lower court, and had escaped conviction on a technicality, “I know that you are guilty and you know it, and I wish you to remember that one day you will stand before a better and wiser Judge, and that there you will be dealt with according to justice and not according to law.”

Sometimes they get away. Allow God to worry about that. Battle your resentment with the knowledge that you did it right, and that God is pleased.

(1 Peter 2:19) For God is pleased with you when, for the sake of your conscience, you patiently endure unfair treatment.