Forgiveness Behind Bars
A lot of the advice on how to deal with forgiveness doesn't work in prison. I feel like I'm in over my head. I'm asking for advice and not giving it.
It is a fact of our human condition that our first response to anger is to lash out. Christianity tells us to forgive and not to exact revenge. However, not to react in a retaliatory manner would be perceived as weak, in a prison environment. A big guy may be able to pull off a "turn the other cheek" attitude, but not the average or small one. How should a Christian inmate respond?
One way to handle situations is to visualize forgiveness. In one's mind the situation is reenacted. This fantasy has one as strong and responding with wisdom. I don't think that would work.
Would it be acceptable to visualize the opposite? Fantasize pounding the sh** out of the offender. Wouldn't that get the aggression out? The intention is to do violence in your mind, so you don't do it for real? Would that be a sin?
Communication isn't possible with crazy people. And some of the people in prison are not mentally well. The normal methods of handling anger just aren't feasible. What would Jesus do?