New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on self-improvement. Lots of us are going to give up television or take on a new exercise program. Most resolutions are all about chipping away at some aspect of our imperfection.
There’s nothing wrong with improvement. God doesn’t call us to a life of the status quo. But often in our rush to cover up or get past the broken places in our lives, we miss out on the opportunity for God’s grace to shine beautifully in and through our weakness.
I was reminded of this powerfully on a recent trip to Angola, a large prison in Louisiana that was once one of the bloodiest, most dangerous correctional facilities in America. There I met several inmate pastors who are extraordinary leaders of the Church behind the walls. Some of those I talked to were in prison for very serious crimes, and they have no hope of ever walking down the street again as free men.
To most people, a life sentence would be an insurmountable setback, but these prisoners are truly “in chains for Christ.” Regardless of the original crimes that brought them to Angola, they now live and breathe to help their fellow prisoners know and follow Jesus. God has taken the most broken part of their stories and made it into a beautiful testimony of His power to redeem, restore, and reconcile.
By God’s grace, let’s work together to bring out more of the beauty that’s possible in situations of great brokenness. Learn how at www.prisonfellowship.org.