Chaplain’s Corner: Does a Cop's Love Measure Up?
Chaplain Bill Wolfe / Llano County Sheriff’s Department
Hello, and welcome to February and to the Chaplain’s Corner. Oh, before I get started, something I think I forgot to mention in my intro…I write from a decidedly Christian (but not a denominational) perspective and will mention the name and person of Jesus in some articles. Now that I’ve gotten that little disclaimer out of the way…
February brings some mixed emotions for me this again this year. I will hit the ol’ “double nickel” on the 28th. There’s something a bit discomforting about turning 55 (my dad didn’t make it to 55), but I’ll get over it.
While I was trying to decide what to share this month, I mentally went through the year noticing how many of the months tie into things having to do with God, His characteristics, or some spiritual application. February brings us Valentine’s Day…the time we think of flowers and chocolates and messages of love to and from special people. But love is more than just romance. Any time I think of love my mind jumps first to the passage in 1st Corinthians, chapter 13:
(4)Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. (5)Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. (6)Love is not happy with evil but is happy with the truth. (7)Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always remains strong. (NCV)
(4)Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, (5)does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, (6)does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; (7)bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (NASB)
Hmm…pretty high standard and a lofty goal; sometimes pretty tough to muster up with just my own will power. Love is obviously more than “stars in the eyes,” a fancy valentine card, or a “warm fuzzy feeling.” One commentary on these verses says that love is “an activity and a behavior, not just an inner feeling.” The Greek word for this kind of love that Paul describes is agape…a love “in spite of”…the kind of love God has towards us and wants us to have towards others, especially our family members.
But, if this kind of love is hard for us to find within ourselves, where are we to find it? In the Book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul tells us that this kind of love is one of the characteristics that God’s Spirit produces within us as we make Him a part of our lives.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22,23 NASB)
Comparing these two verses with the ones above from 1 Corinthians, we can see certain similarities and find the common term in both is love. While the “fruits” in this latter passage effects our outlook on life in general (and our ability to cope with what life brings) the last eight fruits match up closely with the description of the first (love) that Paul gives. In fact you will find patience and kindness listed in both passages.
So what am I saying? I guess in a round about way, I’m saying that the way we can best experience the fullness of a love relationship goes back to the first Commandment. I’m sure you know it (the “l” word again): You shall love the Lord, thy God. The love that Paul describes originates with God Himself. The Bible again and again emphasizes that God loves us very much. In the Book of Revelation, He says (paraphrasing slightly) that He stands at the door of our hearts knocking. If we will but open the door to Him, He will come into our lives and begin filling us with His love. He will fill us to the point where His love changes us and replaces our incomplete love with His. His love becomes ours and we can begin to love in the manner Paul describes in 1st Corinthians.
It’s hard to deal with the topic of love in the time we have available on one shift. Give what I’ve said some thought so feel free drop me an email if you’d like to spend some more time on it or pop over to the Christian Cops or LEO Chaplains and Friends group and start a thread.
Thanks for riding with me this “shift.” Catch you again next time. Until then: blessings to you and yours.