Overcoming Prison Past
Larry Lilly's Letter Friday May 19, 2006
I received a brief letter from a man in prison who is to be released in the next while. He is concerned in that he got along well in prison, but is petrified at the prospects facing him upon release. In his words he did not buy into the hallucinatory thinking that somehow when I get out things will be different and I will use what I have learned in here to my advantage. I will tell people I have changed and they will flock to my aid. I will then select the best job offered and live happily ever after.
I'm glad my friend is facing the stark reality of the situation. Life will be tough for him, so tough that the years in prison will seem as a picnic by comparison. What can he do?
As a Christian there are a number of things. First he can trust the Lord to lead him. He can ask the Lord for help. He can be upfront with potential employers and he can commit in his heart to be the best worker on the job. To say that he must be totally honest is to overstate as you are either honest or dishonest.
In my response to this brother I warned him that although he had kept his mouth shut about a few friends who would have joined him at the hoosegaw, he is foolish to think they will 'make it up to him.' Such actions went out of style long ago. He will also find it for the most part necessary to discover new friends as those from the past, even good ones, will hold him at arms length if at all.
How do I know these truths? Surely you jest.
Here is where faith in Christ takes over.
I heard Evangelist Mike Thurmon say some time ago:
"Past failure hinders too many people. You do not have to be one of them."
Mike is right on with this truth. Jesus is in the new beginning business, that is one reason being born again is referred to as the New Birth. As freshly born or newly forgiven Christians we have the resources of heaven at our prayer. As servants of Christ we have something going for us that others do not, not only the assurance that "If God be for us, who can be against us," but the principle in the Master/Servant relationship stated simply: "It is the duty of the Master to adequately supply the needs of the servant."
Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are leaving behind, take the position of a servant of Christ and He will supply as you walk with Him. Keep in mind that while we are servants we are also dearly loved children. I told my friend, "With Christ you will make it."
Larry Lilly Copyright © 2006 Use with credit.
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