UNDERSTANDING NEW CHRISTIANS IN PRISON

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breaker to start using drugs in prison. They don’t think about the repercussions of that choice. Of course not thinking like that is what got them here in the first place. That’s why a new Christian needs to be on guard and think like God would have him think, think about the repercussions and say no.

For those inmates who get sucked into drugs and alcohol, their biggest problem is the debt. Drugs and alcohol cost a lot of money. The drug dealers only have one thing in mind….themselves. They will make an inmate pay one way or another. A new Christian who is not on guard and falters in this way will be filled with guilt and self condemning thoughts because of his new found faith in Christ. It will also keep him connected to the wrong crowd and living the wrong way of life. Once in this cycle it is hard for him to get out because drugs hook the flesh even though his spirit wants to change.

This is why it is so important for friends and family to have good communication with and emotional support for the new Christian in prison. If your friend or loved one in prison feels that he can come to you about anything without being preached to or condemned then you will be opening an avenue of communication that may prevent him from making a wrong choice. If he knows that he can open up to you and talk about a difficult subject like this then he has a better chance of making the right decision when faced with temptation.

There is a lot of peer pressure in prison. Because of loneliness, the dark side of prison life is seductive. Just like a gang, it provides a kind of family or acceptance that is longed for even though it is made up of cutthroats, drug addicts, thieves and sexual predators. An inmate is easily accepted into this “family”, but getting out is another matter. Just like a gang, no one wants to see anyone leave it. There is great pressure and fear of what might happen to an inmate if he chooses to leave the group.

Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it. Do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot sleep till they do evil; they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.  (Proverbs 4:14-17 NKJV)

This verse is so true. There are inmates whose only goal in life is to make others fall prey to their own twisted and crazed minds. There are many traps for the Christian brother that is trying to live his life for God; traps that don’t even look like traps; traps that will build up trust in an individual and then clamp shut.  It is a very scary thing when thinking about the dark side of prison, but those who keep the faith, trust in God and read the Bible daily can have hope and peace. Just as important are your prayers for your friend and relative which will help carry him through some of the dark times he will face.

I have seen many new Christians who were deeply committed to God and studying the Bible fall prey to a predator in prison.  A predator is a person who looks for one that is weaker than himself and preys upon him until he succeeds. Predators have been deterred from pursuing their victims by other inmates who are well known, and speak up and pray for the weaker one. It is especially hard when a new Christian puts his trust in a predator before he shows his true colors. Other brothers in Christ will warn him to watch out for this guy (the predator), but the new Christian may have already felt the draw of acceptance by the predator or feel that he can trust him. A new Christian should be on guard not to listen to a predator over his very own brothers in Christ.

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