UNDERSTANDING NEW CHRISTIANS IN PRISON

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Then there is the naturally violent inmate who truly does turn his life over to Christ and wants to walk in peace. He wants to live free from violence. This is very difficult because he will be provoked with names for becoming soft and tempted to become violent again. It creates an inner struggle of great frustration. This can build up if not properly dealt with especially in a new Christian to the point that he acts out the aggression toward someone. The aggression may satisfy the name callers that he isn’t soft, but then others will think that he is not a true Christian or that Christianity is just a bunch of hogwash. Next, the believer will feel either depressed or guilty for acting violently and it may cause him to fall away for a while.

This information is important for you to know so that you can encourage and comfort your friend or family member in prison to stay close to the Lord no matter what. We are sinners saved by grace, and many will and do falter, but it is critical that he asks forgiveness and gets himself right with the Lord again as soon as possible to continue to grow in his faith. He needs assurance from family and friends that none of us is perfect and never will be in this life! Mistakes and short comings will happen and sometimes over and over, but when encouraged to give it all to Jesus, a new Christian inmate will come to realize that it is God’s to overcome. After all, we are sinners saved by grace. That’s why we need a Savior to save us!! Jesus Christ will work out this new walk of love and peace in him through time. As for myself, it is really hard to describe when I first began to understand what a real love walk in Christ was all about, but I noticed it starting when I was praying to God. I can remember times of prayer that felt like I was wrapped in a warm blanket on a cold day. I could feel thousands of words and thoughts of praise flowing through me without physically moving my mouth in speech.

There are also times of frustration, because others may take advantage of his new caring walk in the love of God. At first, he will be helping others and it will be difficult to discern between those that use him and those who sincerely can use his help. If he expresses hurt by someone who used his faith for their own gain, then the first thing he should do is give it away to God in prayer. God’s love can heal all hurts and he can know that God will reward him in heaven for trying to help that person. God may answer his prayer with thoughts like, “Don’t worry if you are being used by another as long as you are in service for me!”  Sometimes those who are the users are converted by the unconditional kindness of the believer.

Unfortunately though, some are “professional” users in prison. These are guys that have nothing better to do with their time then to make others as miserable as possible! As a Christian tries his best to become more like Christ, these pros put much thought into how to get the Christian “off their rocker”! They are extremely hard to deal with. They are hollow and untouchable. Hollow means they are always trying to get some kind of happiness, but it only brings them more emptiness and pain; untouchable because their lifestyle of misery is the most accepted type of behavior in prison. Officers and inmates will encourage this type of behavior for recreation because they see it as just one prisoner bugging another. If a Christian finds himself having a mean or selfish bunky like this, it can quickly become a horrible situation. If this unrelenting situation ever arises, prayer is the critical key to overcoming and getting through it. Encourage your friend or loved one in prison to buckle down in prayer, stay steadfast and unmovable in his faith. In deep prayer many times, God will want him to walk even deeper in love toward this type of

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