Daily Archives: June 16, 2012

Proverbs 16, 17, 18; Acts 2:22-47

Proverbs 18:21   “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

This verse has tremendous meaning to me in light of my present job.  I am part of a team that is responsible for rehabilitating offenders who have committed crimes mostly due to their addiction to alcohol and/or drugs.  These men and women have long sentences of incarceration awaiting them if they are not successful in this program, and my part in their rehabilitation is to provide substance abuse treatment.

As might be expected, not all of these participants are successful in this program.  Though many chances to change are given along the way, there are a few who cannot abide by the legal rules, comply with the obligations of the program, or remain abstinent from alcohol and/or drugs.  Each person who fails to make these changes over time will eventually have to serve their original sentence – that could mean 15-20 years in jail.

What I say in the team meetings, the day before court each week, brings a positive or negative perspective about the treatment progress of each man or woman.  My words can and have been integral to whether or not a participant receives a sanction (discipline to encourage change) or a reward for diligent work on their recovery (the reward might be a pass to visit family in another county or receiving all-star status).

I’ve learned to take this responsibility seriously; especially after the first time what I said appeared to be the deciding factor in sending a young man back to jail.

How much more important to me it is now to understand the spiritual life of each person who is in my charge.  Whether they are successful in this program or are returned to a controlled environment for years to come, each participant deserves the opportunity to know Christ . In Acts 2:38, Peter said that all should repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit.  If I have the gift of the Holy Spirit in my life to help me counsel others, the Beautiful Promise must also be shared with others whose freedom literally depends on His forgiveness and His law written on their hearts.

I pray, Lord, to see with Your eyes the worth of each client, to be mindful of my own prejudices and biases, and to be prudent in the words I speak. I ask that all may come to know Your saving grace and lead peaceful and simple lives of friendship with You and with one another.

In Christ,

Janet

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, New Testament, Proverbs