Let’s talk to people who have been incarcerated and are now back in the community.
You feel there is shame attached to you; you see people looking at you and whispering, and the only place you’re comfortable is in someone’s home, alone.
You’re a stone’s throw from being sent back for parole violation, because you’re running with the old crowd again. Jobs are tough to get, and potential employers will ask about your background. Demons hound you at night when the lights are out when everyone else has gone to bed, and it seems like an eternity until morning, when the light will chase them away. Life seems hopeless.
But step back for a moment and believe there is a way out. It’s easy to get locked into “tunnel vision,” seeing life as spiraling only downward, increasingly out of control.
God didn’t give you the breath of life for you to be somebody without hope, staring at an early grave after a miserable life. He still means for you to be an important part of his family through Jesus.
The past is past. If there was sin in it, then don’t add any more. Get the blood of Jesus applied to your sins. Start a new life as his disciple, knowing that true discipleship requires a clean break with the past and a total commitment to his commandments. Establish in your heart that the “old” you is buried and only the “new” you is alive.
Find a local Bible-based church — quickly. Attend regularly, and you’ll find the support that is essential. If you feel compelled, talk to the pastor about your past. He’s heard it before and will keep it confidential, and you’ll get excellent guidance.
You have hope, friend, and hope has a name: Jesus.
Brother Larry Dalton is the pastor at Trinity Pentecostal Chapel, 1013 W. Laurel St., Seymour. Jon Robertson is a layman at the church.
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