Most of us entered the law enforcement profession in response to a “calling” on our lives even if we didn’t understand its source. Jesus understood that His calling – and likewise ours — was to do the will of the Father (John 6:38): ultimately going to the cross to give His life in “the line of duty” for all who elect to repent of their sin and turn to Him in faith.
What I hope to accomplish here is to give you some guidelines to help you have a healthy, biblical understanding of your calling as a modern day knight – a servant-warrior called to lead, serve and protect in our unique, God-ordained profession. Accordingly, let’s look at three main points:
Your calling is not just “The Job.”
Ours is a profession suffering from horrendous rates of divorce, alcoholism, depression and suicide. Why? Part of the answer is that far too many of us have made an “idol” out of “the badge” by putting our work before our families and our relationship with the Lord. Rest assured, putting your work before all else is NOT part of the calling God gave you (Exodus 20:3). Rather, our calling to “serve and protect” goes well beyond what we do on “the job.”
Your calling can’t complete you.
What would happen if something occurred (injury, sickness, IA issue, etc.) that forced you out of law enforcement? How would you handle that? What about the issues of discontent that vex us in police work? Are you feeling bored or “stuck” in your current assignment and think you should be doing something else? Know you’re not alone! The prophet Elijah, for example, nearly gave up his mission in the face of deadly opposition. Moses lost his temper and killed a man before he ever led the Hebrews into the Promised Land. Even Jesus lived 30 years in obscurity before his official human mission (his “call”) began. On this, blogger Jeff Goins correctly wrote, “Scripture is full of moments in the messy middle. Why should our stories be any different?” He added, “Modern myths depict this, too. Luke Skywalker is a whiny teenager who would rather race off to the next adventure than discipline himself to become a true warrior.”
While we may all seek a more meaningful role, if you’re following hard after God (and you should be), part of understanding your calling is accepting this season of your life and growing where He’s planted you.
Your calling isn’t just one thing.
The Romans of Jesus’ day didn’t have a word for vocation. Rather, they embraced what they termed a magnum opus, one’s “body of work.” To them, a calling meant more than a single task to be checked off a list. It meant an entire life well lived. Likewise, the calling God has for you is more than just the next arrest or investigation to be completed, and certainly more than just what you do in police blue (or tan, brown, green, etc.). On the contrary, finding your true calling might take a whole lifetime and may encompass all your skills and passions, uniquely combined by God Himself in a way that best serves your family, your church, your agency, your community or more.
Accordingly, I can’t encourage you enough to be open to prayerfully using every experience God sends your way as an opportunity for Him to create the magnum opus He has planned for you.
Finally, truly understanding your calling can’t occur outside of a genuine, life-saving/life-changing personal relationship with God in Christ. He’s the source – our “Captain” and the “call giver.” Without Him we can never truly fulfill our calling or hear the words that every true believer should ultimately long for – “Well done, good and faithful servant…” (Matthew 25:23).
Need more help on this? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be honored to serve you.
Michael “MC” Williams is an active police officer, state criminal investigator, chaplain/minister and police instructor with more than three decades on “the job.” As a contributor to Law Officer’s Chaplain’s Corner, he provides a biblical, front sight focus on the daily issues we face in law enforcement. MC is a sought-after speaker who serves as the Director of the Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry and is a past National Board Vice President of the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers – USA. MC can be reached at email@example.com.