I like teaching and I like going into prison. Sometimes, they aren’t as different as one would think.
I’m not in charge of anything at the prison bible study, so I am able to just sit back and observe what is happening. One of my favorite takeaways from last time was how so many of them have experienced the difference Christ makes in their lives. When they follow Him, they live differently. But then they run into situations in life that shake their resolve and make them revert back to their old ways. It was a beautiful grace to watch them speak of how they are better when they follow Christ and His Scriptures but yet how hard it is to persevere in that life.
In part, it was beautiful because I could relate and I could tell by the numerous bobbing heads that so many of them did, too.
It left me wondering how I can more effectively reveal that a life in Christ changes you. The prisoners seemed united in their agreement that following the Lord gives them greater peace and forces them to pursue virtue. I want to somehow show that to my students, many of whom do not have material needs and often struggle to see why they may need Christ. Surrounded by affluence and many other gifts, following or not following Christ doesn’t seem to make much difference to several of my students. But in prison, I heard grown men speak of fighting against their desires to accumulate things so as to pursue the Lord.
And I listened with an awakened heart as I felt a new desire for simplicity amidst the excitement for my Amazon packages to arrive in the mail.
Whether at work or at prison, the Lord is continually pushing me to follow Him more deeply, more intentionally. May we respond to the manifold graces He offers and not miss an opportunity to live in a new way.