“He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Proverbs 18:13
When you receive an assignment, especially one that is potentially dangerous, you need to get as many facts as you can, for your own safety and to avoid a hasty, mistaken decision. Police were called to a burglary one night. They arrived to find a man pointing a shotgun at another man who was spread-eagled on the floor. It was good that they didn’t make a hasty decision because the man with the shotgun was the homeowner. The man on the floor was the burglar.
You may not always have time to get all the facts. Say you’re called to a “male with a gun.” You see a man matching the description with a gun in his waistband. You tell him to put up his hands, but instead, he runs. You chase him. It’s night. He suddenly turns, reaching for his waistband. Is he trying to dump the gun? Maybe. Should you give him the benefit of the doubt? What if you hesitate to take action and he shoots you or your partner? If that happens, one officer is disabled and the other has to deal with the suspect and try to help his wounded partner, if he‘s still alive. Now the suspect may shoot and not hit either of you, but if he kills a small kid in a house behind you after you gave him the benefit of the doubt, you’ll have to live with that kid’s death. Any way you look at it, the suspect has placed you into a rotten position.
Most people don’t think in these terms, because most people don’t have to deal with life-or-death, split-second decisions involving violence-prone people. Police, however, have to think in these terms because they deal with violent people and violent situations. Protesters may cry for police reform, but no one knows how to prevent suspects from acting violently toward innocent citizens and officers; so instead the protesters do what is easy—criticize the police.
Many people like to “answer a matter before they hear it” when it comes to police work, but few, if any, have all the facts about police work. They don’t know what it’s like to chase an armed suspect in the dark, to hear gunfire and go toward it, to feel a bullet wound, to fight someone “unarmed” who is larger, younger, stronger, and trying to take your gun, while you’re getting tired and backup hasn’t arrived. To most people, the phrase “fear for your life” is only theory. Most people get their police knowledge from Hollywood, where movie actors are paid millions to pretend to do a job that cops do in real life for a small fraction of the money.
So when protesters block traffic at a “die-in” at a major intersection, and you have to keep them from being run over by irate citizens, and the protesters may not even thank you, remember that they don’t know about your job and may never take the time to learn. They are likely just answering a matter before they hear it, as the Bible says not to do. Of course, they may not care much what the Bible says about anything else, either, but that issue is for another time.
If you want to see from the Bible how to be sure you’ll go to heaven when you die, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, then “Ministries”, “Reach Out”, then “How do I go to Heaven?”
Brian Miller 12/16/2014
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822