When I was a cop, I had to disarm people who wanted to kill an innocent bystander or me. As a Hostage Negotiator, I disarmed people using words crafted from proven negotiation tactics. When I worked as a street cop and later as a SWAT officer, I disarmed people at the end of my pistol or rifle barrel. To survive the mean streets, I had to learn how to disarm violent people on a regular basis, or I would go home in a body bag.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to disarm people spiritually. We do this by choosing to respond in a spirit opposite from the one being exhibited by our assailant. What disarms people and disempowers their harsh attacks takes place when we choose to love them instead of crafting a response in retaliation. We disarm hate with love and fear with faith. When we came to know Jesus, we holstered the spiritual weapon of God’s unconditional love. God expects us to fire its power and beauty into the heart of every person we meet.

Like my Marine buddies say, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” Those of us who served in police work will say, “Once a cop, always a cop.” I would like to suggest a phrase for all who follow Jesus, “Once a believer, always a believer.” Don’t allow any situation in your life or another person’s negative response to disarm you and take away your love. Guard love with all your strength. It is the only thing you have that can effectively disarm any situation and help you come out the other side of the encounter spiritually alive and able to live another day for the glory of God.


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