Our national conversation at this time largely concerns the shocking death of George Floyd and the subsequent peaceful demonstrations, destruction, looting, violence, and police action in cities all across the United States, and what they mean for us as Americans.
We who desire to follow Jesus Christ look to God’s written word to instruct us in all things. Is there anything in the Bible that relates to how we should conduct ourselves in a time like this? Yes! Whether we be concerned citizens, demonstrators, or law enforcement officers, here are some Biblical passages that can help guide us. I would love to hear if you have other verses to suggest.
1. A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER WHO FOLLOWS JESUS …
Is humble and kind to everyone.
Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
Enforces the law justly and equally.
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Protects the mistreated.
Psalm 82:3-4 “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless, maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
Jeremiah 22:3 “Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.”
2. A DEMONSTRATOR WHO FOLLOWS JESUS …
Speaks out to help the mistreated.
Proverbs 31:8-9 “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.”
Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good, seek justice, correct oppression, bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”
Obeys the law.
Romans 13:1-7 “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God, and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same, for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword for nothing, for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.”
Proverbs 28:4-5 “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them. Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand all things”
Does not steal or destroy property.
Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal.”
Ephesians 4:28 “He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.”
Is respectful to law enforcement officers.
Titus 3:1-2 “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”
Uses their legal rights.
Acts 16:37 “But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed!”
Acts 22:25 “But when they had stretched him out for the whips, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it legal for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned?”
3. ANYONE WHO FOLLOWS JESUS …
Treats all people with equal respect.
1 Samuel 16:7 “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Acts 10:34 “Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.”
Romans 10:12 “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him.”
1 Peter 2:17 “Honor all people”
Is kind and loving to everyone.
Mark 12:31 “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Ephesians 4:1-2 “I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling you have received: with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love”
Colossians 3:12 “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”
1 Peter 3:8 “be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead”
Does not murder.
Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.”
Knows the Good News of Jesus is the ultimate solution to all of humanity’s problems.
Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
Looks forward to a multicultural and unified heaven!
Revelation 7:9-11 “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language…and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God.”
(c) 2020 Frank Erb. All rights reserved.