July 14, 2011 in How do you navigate the two paths between faith and work?, Question of the Week by Maxie Dunnam
A few months before he was killed in the line of duty, Memphis Police Officer Timothy Warren made a YouTube video expressing his deep internal struggle between his “Two Paths” – between a Christian “life of service, compassion, seeking and forbearance” and a life in “police authority, command and governance.”
“Which path to follow?” Officer Warren said.
How would you respond to Officer Warren’s questions?
I think we limit ourselves and our decision making process by focusing on the question, “What would Jesus do?” The better question is “What am I to do as a follower of Jesus?” Justice and mercy are not enemies. In fact, a follower of Jesus, I believe, seeks always to exercise merciful justice. The exercise of justice as it relates to the law is not a matter of judging or not judging. The law officer is not the one to judge. The “law” makes the judgement. The task of the policeman is to respect and apply the law, but with a merciful attitude. That gives room to exercise “keeping the law” in ways that have professional integrity and yet demonstrates faithfulness to Christ.