Crime statistics and spiritual transformation

In New York City, it is called Compstat. In Chicago, it is called CLEAR. In Memphis, it is called   CRUSH (Crime Reduction Using Statistical History). Regardless of the name, cities all over the world are using crime maps to cut crime. Crime maps chart the day, time, and type of offense in a given location. Analysts compile the data and police increase patrols in areas where predicted crime is likely to occur. Most cities that implement crime mapping experience a 10-30% drop in crime.

It seems so simple, but before crime mapping occurred, police had no way of organizing all of their crime information. Without all of the pieces, there was no way to chart emerging or declining criminal activity in a given area. Now, police departments are given regular reports about where, when, and what crimes occur.

The success of these programs reveals just how important it is to be able to gather individual pieces of information and create a cohesive pattern. We need to gather information and bring it together in order to be the transformed people God wants us to be.        

I Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves.” However, many do not bother with self-examination. Most of us could not tell the time, place, and kinds of people that are most likely to make us fail to live up to God’s standard. Most of us could not tell the time, place, and kinds of people who best help us live godly lives.

We ought to know our past, present, and future well enough to cause a decrease in sin and an increase in godly living. As I say in The Battle Inside, “A good memory is a constant link to ourselves. A bad memory is like an incomplete story. It undermines who we really are.”

A little information gathering is a powerful tool for transformation.


One Response to “Crime statistics and spiritual transformation”

  1. Rach says:

    Information in and of itself is useless without an organizing tool or principle. (Your post is timely as I’m currently reading a book about border security after 9/11 that references just how much information was out there about the terrorists prior to the attacks, yet was useless to us without a way to share or process it.) With so much personal and public information flying around us all the time, we — I, for sure! — need to figure out ways to corral it and use it instead of being overwhelmed or buffeted by it.

    Willy was right. Attention must be paid.

    P.S. Love the new site.

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