In the Book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel receives a call and commission from the Lord. I encourage you to read Ezekiel 2:3-7, but paraphrased, it reads like this:
“Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me… The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen, they will know that a prophet has been among them. Do not be afraid of them or their words, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.”
Think of it this way. He was given a mission, as well as mission specific intelligence. The mission was to warn Israel of impending disaster. The intel revealed that the mission would be difficult and uncomfortable. Not just that, but also that the people he was sent to warn would not appreciate or respect his efforts to save them.
In much the same way, we in law enforcement are given a call to serve and protect, and a commission to confront a rebellious nation. Similarly, many of the people we are called to cover don’t always appreciate our efforts.
No question, it takes a special person to be called into law enforcement. Perhaps we don’t fully understand our individual commission though. In an effort to overly simplify the difference between call and commission, I’ll offer this generalization; The call gets our attention. The commission directs our actions.
What is Our Mission?
Pay special attention to the fact that Ezekiel wasn’t called to judge, convict, arrest, or punish the rebellious nation. He was simply sent to warn them, to hold them accountable in an effort to get them to turn from their ways. His challenge was to be a demonstration of righteousness throughout the process.
Two of the biggest issue we have in law enforcement are that we 1.) step into the rebellious nation and become rebellious ourselves, and 2.) forget that our job is not to punish people for breaking the law, but to guide them towards better decision-making. In this career, we get attacked physically, emotionally and spiritually whenever we step into the rebellious nation. Our hearts turn hard towards the people in the nation, and a variety of emotions may take us over such as anger, frustration, fear, cynicism and depression. It’s hard to not take it personally. In the end, some of us become rebellious ourselves, taking our frustrations out on the people, punishing them for our condition.
The mission of peace officers is at times a “Mission Impossible.” The intel tells us that it is a difficult, sometimes thankless mission. Still, God called you because he knew you could complete it, with his help. Don’t allow the circumstances surrounding the mission to compromise your decision to complete it. Equally as important, don't allow your frustration with the world to overshadow your faith in the Father. In whatever you do, do it for Him, and do it like Him.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galations 6:9
www.The12Initiative.com I Ryan Dunlap