Our monthly trip to the prison caused quite a stir in one lady’s life. We have been going to minister at the prison for a few years now and until this past year it was full of men. They have since made it into a woman’s prison, and that has brought about a little bit of a different atmosphere.
When it was my turn to speak I talked about how we are only as sick as our secrets, and how confession was the pathway to forgiveness and healing. Most of us believers understand the need to confess to God that we are a sinner in need of saving. The thing most of us don’t realize or, if we do, we don’t like and that is confessing to one another.
The Bible is clear, in James the fifth chapter it tells us “to confess our sins to one another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed.” See how that works. God has made things to where we can be the pathway to healing in others.
I shared with those ladies about how sometimes our unconfessed sins may be the cause of even physical illness. This too is revealed to us in Psalms 32. David wrote of how when he kept silent about his sin his bones waxed old and God’s hand was on him night and day. He felt sick in his body until he acknowledged his sin and stopped hiding it. His final response was to confess his transgressions to the Lord and he forgave the iniquity of his sin.
One lady raised her hand and asked me if she was supposed to confess sins to everyone. I told her no way. I told them, I know it’s hard to know who to trust, but at some point we have to expose these things or else the devil gets a foothold in our lives. As believers we are to live our lives as transparently as possible. Besides Jesus told us one day everything that was once whispered will be shouted from the rooftops.
After we finished and were putting chairs away this same lady came up to me. She looked at me eye to eye and said “Louie I think I slept with the devil.” She said “I killed my husband and burned the house down, I was crazy out there.” She was confessing to me wanting so badly to be rid of the guilt of her crime that she was physically shaking.
This lady continued to speak to me and told me she didn’t think she was being punished enough. She said “I only got five years for the crime, but most everyone else would have gotten twenty or more maybe even the death penalty.” It was as though she wanted to be punished more and even spoke of how she thought she deserved to be placed in the hole (administrative segregation).
I looked her right back in her eyes and asked her point blank “Are you a believer?” She said yes. I told her “You seem to have a higher standard than God.” “Do you believe what Jesus went through on the cross was enough to deal with your sin?” “Yes”, she said. I told her “it seems to me you don’t think it was enough if you think you should be punished more. Wasn’t Jesus punished enough?”
Don’t misunderstand me I know we have laws and if we break them there are repercussions, but this lady seemed to act as though God wanted to punish her. It was as if she could never be made right with him for what she had done. I appreciate the fact that she was sorry for her crime, and she understood how awful her actions were, but at some point we have to receive God’s forgiveness and believe it is sufficient. While I only spoke with her for a few minutes I hope and pray that what I said brought some relief to her agitated state.
As we walked out I told her “The devil would like nothing more than to keep you focused on yourself.” I shared with her how Satan’s mind is always selfish or self focused, but the mind of Christ is always on or for someone else. The best remedy for her problem was to focus on helping others and get her mind off of herself and on to Christ.
Written by Louie