UNDERSTANDING NEW CHRISTIANS IN PRISON

28

Chapter 7

THE DARK SIDE OF PRISON

 

To better help you understand what a new Christian goes through in prison, subjects such as drugs, alcohol, sex and gambling must be unfortunately talked about. For some Christians, these things are known to happen, but not actually seen through God’s protective ways. A new Christian has such a pure and wonderful childlike faith. It is very hard to hang on to for the long term in prison. Your loved one is especially vulnerable if he is not on guard. There are many who will go to great lengths to break that faith either because of envy or hatred.

A good example of this happened to me. As a new Christian, I thought I could just trust God to protect my belongings. In so believing, I did not buy a lock for my locker for three years. Another inmate that moved into my cell would always tell me about having “foolish trust” in God’s protection over my things. It bothered him because he lived under the fear that if they can rip you off, they will. Well, he set it up one day to have someone steal some things out of my locker. I heard about it for weeks, about how I should have bought a lock which I did and still have to this day.

Childlike faith is strong in hope and prayer, but it can be weak when opposed by the flesh. The only combat a Christian has against such temptations or attacks is the Bible, the Word of God. Understanding the scripture one reads helps promote a healthy childlike faith. In Matthew Chapter 18, the disciples ask Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus called a little child over and had him stand among them. Children were considered to be lowly in those days. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Childlike faith believes with the heart, not just with the eyes. A new Christian with a strong childlike faith will be protected from the dark side of prison because of his faith, trust and hope in Jesus.

To many inmates the dark side of prison is a normal way of life. After all, no one is in prison for missing Sunday school. Prisoners have done violent crimes, been addicted to or sold drugs, or have lived a totally irresponsible selfish life which hurt society in some way. Prison is full of many horrifying things. The new believer in Christ needs to be on guard and stay close to God because there are many enemies or dangerous waters in prison life.

Encourage your friend or relative who is a new Christian by continually reminding him that our Father’s protection is greater than all and can keep him from all hurt and harm. This encouragement will help keep him from faltering and getting sucked into or back into the dark side of prison.  Sometimes when an inmate falters he passes through it for a short while and can get back out of it quickly but most get stuck in an ongoing nightmare that they wish they could wake up from. Some inmates are continually sucked dry by this nightmare until they are no longer a man at all.

Drugs and alcohol are a big problem in prison. Just because a person is in prison does not mean that he is not subjected to drugs and alcohol. Of course, it is not as easy to get them as it is on the street, but they are readily available. When I first came to prison, I hadn’t even unpacked yet when a man approached me with some drugs. For a new Christian that isn’t on guard spiritually, this could tempt him back into an old lifestyle. It could be devastating. Some inmates use the excuse of being nervous or needing an ice

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