UNDERSTANDING NEW CHRISTIANS IN PRISON

51

discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.   (Hebrews 12:7-11 NKJV)

The fact is that his prison time is probably the result of discipline from God. Sometimes that is what it takes in a personís life to come to God. In that regard, prison is not a bad thing because it could have eternal impact on a personís soul. It could be the most powerful tool to turn a person toward a God honoring life. The reward of seeing someone sincerely come to Christ while in prison can help heal the hurt of separation and disappointment for you on the outside. This permanent life changing spiritual growth will bless your life long into the future when he is released from prison.

Once self-control, conviction and discipline have taken root in your friend or loved oneís life, please remember that no one is perfect. He could really be doing good and making positive changes in his life like no one ever thought possible and then stumble and fall. It is at these times, that your love and support is extra critical. He will see his mistake now that he is a Christian and feel guilty.

He may think that pulling back out of the pit that he fell into will be easy, but that is not always the case. Some things will be rather easy to get back on track, but others may take much time and prayer, either way the consequences will have to be lived out. During this time, the new Christian needs love and encouragement, not rebuke or nagging. God is in control and He will finish whatever He has started. The most important point is for the new Christian to get back on track as soon as possible again. Remember to always speak to them in a positive way without condoning their mistake! Emphasize self-control, conviction and discipline so they will be able to continue their growth in their relationship with Jesus Christ.

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