Thursday, June 25, 2015

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?

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