For Goodness’ Sake – Don’t Forget – You Are Being Watched

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5eM0csrfU8&w=640&h=360]

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us…     Hebrews 12:1

The intent of the video highlighted above was prankish at worst; but the story makes a good point. In today’s world of Internet video-voyeurism, anyone with a smart phone is a potential video journalist. The video would rack up more views had the officer made an ethical, rather than physical misstep. This should serve as a warning for anyone who seeks a career in law enforcement or public service.

Mainstream media provides a feeding tube for the world’s footage-hungry appetite. Now, more than ever, the greater the perceived uprightness, the greater the world expects failure. People who actually live the life they preach actually impress most people. Others relish the sight of a hero figure ousted from public favor as a hypocrite.

The once common tendency to hold a higher view of good (even if only perceived) for goodness’ sake and mourn its loss has faded. As a people we have grown to love when the mighty fall, particularly when we feel they deserve it. I do not claim superior knowledge of the goings-on in heaven but I cannot imagine the angels rejoiced when Lucifer fell. I envisage mourning among them that day though the punishment fair. One who held an exceedingly upright status chose rebellion; and for goodness’ sake had justly been cast out.

Law enforcers and public officials should strive for—and hang onto—an upright status. The dark desire to see good proven evil makes them popular targets. I will not lie and say we automatically deserve a righteous status. We share the common flaws all humans have. However, a life in law enforcement or public office demands a higher standard and rightly so. Positions of authority lie under a higher standard of judgment as well. Anyone in law enforcement who knowingly fails the trust placed in his or her position deserves just and swift punishment. We should all—for goodness’ sake—mourn when this happens as well.

A Crime Scene Investigator’s actions will be recorded, questioned, and critiqued by supervisors, judges, juries, media, and public opinion. They will suffer malice for making a mistake and extreme retribution for negligence. But if you desire a career in C.S.I. do not give up hope.

I teach investigators four practices, which can sustain them throughout their career.

      1. Always feel like you are being watched.

          – This tends to keep you honest and attentive to do your job right.

       2. Your professional and ethical reputation leads to success.

          – A good reputation makes you a trusted adviser and associate.

           – A bad reputation makes you a distrusted outsider.

       3. A task properly done, and documented, will stand up against any objective scrutiny.

           – Truth will eventually prove itself.

        4. The decision to do the job properly lies in your hands.

            – No one can make you do a good job. You reap what you sew.

I try molding my instruction in the style of Hebrews’ author. He taught people the way in a kind and caring manner. In truth, he taught the bad and the good of life. He gave them the knowledge to do well and warned them of the consequences otherwise.

The four practices I teach investigators can greatly help them become the best C.S.I. or Christian (or both) you can. After all, both jobs have the common goal of revealing the truth.

Let the video also serve as warning for Christians. The writer of Hebrews 12:1 accurately stated, there is a great cloud of witnesses watching us. Many hope you will stumble and fail at living out what you speak. This empowers their denial of God. If you make a mistake they will deride you. Intentionally not living what you preach will cause you to be raked-over-the-coals as a hypocrite. Others do yearn (albeit secretly) for your success. It strengthens those who already believe and lends others hope that what you represent just might hold truth. They will listen more intently to what you say.

Society quakes at news reports about government surveillance and documentation of our lives. We fear because the world’s authorities have not always proven trustworthy with the information they gather. Remember—the world always watches, waiting to discredit you and what you believe. Sounds dire, but still true. In contrast God watches over you, ready to guide your every step for your goodness’ sake. This surveillance we should really have no problem with.