UNDERSTANDING NEW CHRISTIANS IN PRISON
A common question might be, “How can you honor God while playing basketball or working for extra money by doing a hobby craft?” Actually, there are many ways. While playing sports in prison, one will see tempers flare up and name calling and very bad language. So honoring God and working for Him while playing a sport is easy. Don’t act like the rest of the group, be the example that God would like one to be.
There have been times where someone was calling me names and I just looked at him and said, “God bless you!” It’s amazing the reaction!! At first, the name calling prisoner won’t know how to react. He will be stunned. The real reward comes later when someone asks why you acted that way. Being a good example, can help another find Christ as their Savior.
As a new Christian in prison, your friend or loved one may need your guidance in this area of his Christian walk. If you hear that he doesn’t want to get involved in any activities, perhaps you can gently counsel him on the importance of being involved and living a balanced life. It is important not only for his Christian walk but for his mental and physical health as well.
In prison, there are many sports in which to get involved. Basketball, football, softball, volleyball, horseshoes, tennis, handball, and baseball are popular. Most prisons will have a Christian basketball or baseball team, if he is more comfortable playing with other Christians. Some of the good Christian players may play for other teams with good players on them, if they wish and that is just fine. If uncertain who to play a sport with, praying always helps.
I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people, not at all meaning the (other) people of this world….. In that case, you would have to leave this world. (1 Corinthians 5:9-10 NKJV)
Other sports like running, walking the track, and weight lifting can be very stimulating as well and used to honor God. These are individual activities with more flexibility to fit into one’s schedule.
Activities include much more than sports. There are classes to improve one’s life and attitudes, playing cards, the library and organizations to get involved in. All of the activities are fine, but sometimes the attitude of the heart is not. There have been times where I became arrogant or prideful about a certain activity. One time I became greedy from an activity that made money. It was a hobby craft project that and I got so caught up in doing the activity to make more and more money that I lost my focus on why I was doing that activity in the first place. If this ever happens to your friend or loved one in prison, the best thing to do is to take a break from it and evaluate one’s inner thoughts for doing the activity. He will find that it is not necessarily the activity that God wants to change, but his heart attitude.
Sometimes though, there may be times that a Christian might feel that God wants them to try something new for a while. If your friend or loved one feels this, they should switch activities because God may need him to witness or be a testimony to someone else or in my case, write a book, this book! So I started writing and as soon as I did I felt an inner peace that is hard to explain. This peace assured me that this new activity of writing a book was God’s will for me at this time.
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