I remember the first day I became a cop. I was sworn in and handed a badge. My badge number was 387. Whenever I enforced the law, I served under the authority of that badge. Both complaints and commendations referenced my badge number. It identified me along with my name in the hundreds of police reports I filed during my years of service. My badge was worn on the left side of my chest over my heart.
Yesterday, I was visiting the post office in the small town where I live. An officer from our local Sheriff’s department was walking through the parking lot. I called out and initiated a conversation. Officers in uniform never know who or what they will encounter in a citizen contact. My desire as a former cop was simply to say thanks and offer an encouraging word. The interaction was consistent with the reputation of the excellent agency the officer represented. Later that day, I sent an online word of commendation for the officer’s professionalism and kindness regarding our interaction.
I thought about those of us who follow Jesus Christ. We are called to be enforcers of God’s heart. His authority backs up our actions if our actions are in line with His heart. We are called to enforce love, truth, and honor. Those three enforcement actions can take place in a casual conversation in a local coffee shop or a spiritually violent confrontation where our response will determine whether we live or die in our witness for the Lord.
Today, I hope someone writes up a commendation for the love, truth, and honor you represented by your words and actions. I also hope the enemy growls in protest and yells, “Give me your badge number!” when you interrupt his deception and he files a complaint about the uncompromising character and integrity you carry that interfered with his dark plans. God has your badge number and so does the enemy. Serve and protect the people you meet under the authority of God’s love. That's what you signed up for. Stay safe out there.