When you have a very personal and very emotional situation in your life, it’s easy to feel isolated and alone – “I need to talk about this, but am I safe to bring it up?” It’s worse when you are afraid that you and God are on opposite sides of the issue. That’s where one man in a prison Bible study found himself stuck.
Whenever I wrap up my prison Bible study for the day, I typically try to end with some sort of “real life” application based on what we are studying. On this particular occasion, the LORD made this rather simple as we observed his power to change the hearts and lives of his children.
In my prison discussion group, one of the guys had something he’d learned and wanted to share with the rest of us. We were looking at the 10th Step of 12-Step Recovery — “Continuing to take personal inventory, and when we are wrong, promptly admitting it.” We were discussing what it’s like to admit that something we’ve done or an attitude we may have is wrong. That’s when Rodney spoke up.
There is a saying which came out of the First World War — “There are no atheists in fox holes!” Something similar is often said regarding men and women in prison. It goes something like this, “They only come to Bible study to get out of their cell.”
For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not keep doing what I want. Instead, I do what I hate. …the desire to do good is present with me, but I am not able to carry it out. So I fail to do the good I want to do. Instead, the evil I do not want to do, that is what I keep doing (Rm. 7:15, 18-19 EHV).