When someone owns something, they have the authority to do with it as they please. For example, if I own a chair I can sit in it, sell it, give it away, or even destroy it. Although destruction may be foolish for a perfectly good chair, I could do so nonetheless because it is mine. If I do not own the chair I have no authority to do any of the aforementioned other than to sit in it. If I refuse to recognize that the chair even exists, all that was said so far is a moot point because, for me, there is no chair. Such is how so many people deal with issues, problems and sin in their lives. If I do not acknowledge it, it does not exist. If I ignore it, it will go away. This type of thinking is denial and will never lead to repentance, healing, and change for anyone.
Inmates who I have been working with in Christian fellowship classes, as well as Biblical counseling sessions, struggle with this issue of ownership in their lives. They want change and even ask God to take away their problems, yet they have a difficult time owning the problem that they want removed. God is not a “taking” God. Just as Jesus receives us freely when we submit ourselves to him, we must acknowledge our sin in order for him to replace it with righteousness. By owning whatever the source of our sinful actions may be, we are authorized to give it away. What people find in their hearts and in their past through a searching and fearless moral inventory most likely is something they would rather forget than deal with. By being truthful with ourselves and trusting in the “Truth” Jesus, we can boldly own and then get rid of that which is destroying our lives. When people finally admit to having a “diss-ease” within them, Jesus will be free to heal it and the result being a repentant heart and the beginning of a life without the burdens of the past. Drugs and alcohol are not the problem, the reason for abusing the drugs and alcohol is the problem. Heal the reason and the symptoms, (D & A) will fall away. Deny or do not own the source, the symptoms will never change.
As a taxpayer you “own” the county prison. Are you pretending that it does not exist or are you claiming ownership and choosing to be a partner in an institution of change through ministry? We appreciate your support for the chaplains who are agents of change within the institution and work daily to help the inmates own and release their past lives to become new creations in Christ. Maybe eventually, we can close the prisons instead of ignoring the problems.
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