Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Recidivists In Our Midst


I'm going to spend a good deal of time tomorrow during our MLK Holiday break grading tests from my five sections. On Friday, we took the first test of the second semester. The final question of the exam was this:
Define: recidivism __________________________

The answer I expected was to be a repeat offender. I referenced Larry Frank, the prison minster for my congregation and how he works with the incarcerated. (Larry's daughter, the awesome Maggie, is in my sixth period class and I am confident she made an A+ on the test!) I explain that recidivism is a term most often used in regards to inmates returning to prison after they have been paroled. Who would want to go back to the loss of freedom and often dangerous conditions? And yet so many do. We talk about our personal struggle with sin. I ask how many have sinned, prayed for forgiveness, vowing never to do it again.........and then we do it again. Most raise their hands and perhaps we all should. Sin, at least certain sins, seem to almost have an addictive nature to us, even though we try to resist and we know we will be hurt in the long run. The ancients had the same fight. In Romans 7:15, Paul wrote,
"
 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."
My students would all say AMEN even though I am sure many have never read Romans. But fortunately, Paul does not stop there, at the intersection of despair and hopelessness. Look at what he pens ten verses later!

 "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?  Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
We can escape the prison of guilt and shame through the blessing of the Savior who arranged for my pardon through the ultimate sacrifice. We can be set free! Tear down the bars.


Applicable quote of the day:
"The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible."
Dwight L. Moody


God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1
www.hawleybooks.com

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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