ISSUE: 2020, Volume 17, Issue 1
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As I look back over the past 27 years as a police officer I am filled with gratitude at the goodness of God. I am so thankful to the Lord for leading me into this profession and his continual guiding and guarding throughout. Truly I have been ‘Kept by the power of God’.
When applying to join the police force all those years ago, I had varied advice from believers I loved and respected. There were differing opinions around whether this was the right career path for a Christian. I am so thankful for those who at that time cared for me enough to share their thoughts and feelings with me.
I remember certain questioning of whether the police force was a place for a Christian, particularly in relation to what you could be exposed to and having to work on some Sundays. Others were very supportive and felt, with God’s help, I would have unique opportunities to witness to others and that, although my faith would be tested, I would be given the divine help needed.
When faced with all of this differing advice, as a young believer, I had just to rely upon a great God and trust His leading and guiding. I firmly believe that God opens and closes doors and, on this occasion, He saw fit to open this particular career path for me, which at the time was totally unexpected.
Has it had its challenges? Of course, and it still does, as with every profession when we are faithful to the Lord and His word. Has my faith wobbled at times? Yes, however I can genuinely say that I could never have coped as a police officer with all its challenges and heartaches without my faith in a great God.
Throughout my career, God has given me many opportunities to witness and I have never been prevented from doing so. When witnessing, however, it has been essential to be ‘wise as a serpent but harmless as a dove’. With God’s help I have been able to lead others back to the Lord, I have studied the Bible and prayed with offenders in their cells and been able to share the love of God with hurting colleagues.
God has also given me the opportunity to work with the wider Christian community, e.g., the street pastors, and I have valued the many prayer times we have had in my office. Once again, wisdom is needed, however their zeal and love for the Lord has been a voice to me.
There are many clear challenges and dangerous situations to be faced as a police officer. We regularly run into incidents which other people are running from. However, there are specific challenges to face as a believer and I will mention three which I have found to be the greatest.
I have often worked on Sundays and missed meetings and the subsequent blessing as a result. However, shift work gives you other opportunities in the week to be used by God, but for over half my career I have been in roles which have been mainly Monday to Friday.
On the front line, you will sometimes see sin at its worst, and this could cause a believer to fall. However, God has often protected me from seeing such things and my daily feet washing with the Lord has been so real. I needed to stay close to the Lord and maintain my daily devotions.
Can I still maintain my beliefs and not have to compromise? Once again, godly wisdom is needed. With God’s help, I have been able to remain faithful to the word of God. It has been tough at times, and, on occasions, I have felt very isolated, but God is faithful. it is vital that my beliefs do not affect my attitude to others. I need to show the same compassion and care of God to everyone, no matter who they are.
So, if you are contemplating a career in the police force then my advice to you is to pray, read God’s word and seek His will. It is not the career for most but I do firmly believe that God wants, and our society needs, Christian police officers.
And if God has opened this particular door then, please, ‘nail your colours to the mast’ early in your career. And remember to attend as many meetings as you can, even though you may feel a little tired!!!