Normally, I don’t watch TV or series, as I believe they are not good for us and not helping us to live a holy life.
However, I have been applying for a job to work with Young People who are on the cusp of, or affiliated with, gang culture and serious violence and crime.
From previously working in prison, I had had lots of conversations with Young People who were dealing with these issues and I believe I had gained a pretty good understanding of the dynamics and even of the thrill and the attraction of it, of the glamour of this lifestyle, of the kicks coming from making “quick money”, but I wanted to get into the “vibes” of it more deeper, so I decided to watch Top Boy, a series about gangs in London and their daily lives.
Mind you, it’s a TV show, but I was shocked to what extend it matched what I had been told about it and how I had imagined this kind of life, including the reasons why people get sucked into it in the first place.
I found it 100% realistic and I can’t wait to talk to some of “the guys” about it, if they’ve seen it and what they think about it…
Anyway, one scene stood out for me:
For those of you who have watched it, I will give you a little background and names, and perhaps you will even remember it as well. But those of you who haven’t seen it, no need to watch it, I will tell you why it was so significant for me.
It was after Dushane’s cousin in Jamaica had been shot in front of his eyes whilst they were video calling him. His mom had finally had enough of him and had sent him away after so many years of defending him, as she knew that he was somehow responsible for this death.
They were facing a war with a rival gang and he and his partner, Sully, were sitting in the eatery where they normally go, and he asked Sully if he doesn’t agree that this is too much and if he doesn’t sometimes ask himself what for and if they should stop.
And Sully said: “What would we be?”
None of them had an answer to that.
That was the end of the discussion.
This hit me and I had heard that so many times before in prison, that the guys told me that this is all they know, a life of crime, dealing (and using) drugs, some of them have no vocational training, no career they would be able to “go back” to, no friends who are not criminals… and this is not just about activities for leisure time, some of the young kids started doing this not because they wanted to, but because they had to support ill or dependent parents, had to pay for food, for rent, for education of their siblings.
Everybody knew how they made their money, but nobody knew how else the family would be able to survive!
It also reminded me of the similar remark of Peter in the bible in
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
This was after JESUS had fed the 5000 with the 2 fish and the 5 loaves of bread and they all wanted to follow HIM, but when HE layed out the principles of true blessings and of what is important, and spoke some thruths about being a real believer, many left…
I understand that when a criminal / prisoner or whatever label has been put upon them due to her crime, a person, a human being with good qualities and flaws and an identity and needs and feelings, someone made in the image of GOD, like you and I, like EVERYONE reading this, when they are asked to stop committing offences that’s not all there is to it.
It’s a matter of leaving their entire identity behind.
And that’s very scary.
To make this decision and take this leap of faith and step into the complete unknown.
And I still think this is similar to what we are doing when we are giving our lives to THE LORD.
To leave our wickedness behind, which is deeply rooted in our being, in our way of being in the world every day, not knowing how to survive without all the sin we were addicted to and relying on, not knowing how to be in the world without being of the world…
But it is possible.
And for ALL of us, regardless if we have been involved in crime or related to gangs or not, it is not an easy step, but if we are doing it for GOD and with GOD, it is possible to create an entire new life.
New ways of sustaining ourselves.
Even new cravings and appetites.
The glamour of being a “bad boy” or a “bad bitch” will no longer be appealing.
We will no longer be wanting to break the law (be that worldly or spiritual laws).
We will not tolerate any damage to any other person caused by our actions. On the contrary, we will want the world to be a better place because of us, will want people to be blessed by our presence, by our actions, by our efforts.
We will want to contribute not only to other people’s lives to be better because of us, but also to society, our communities, our country.
We will want to take better care of ourselves and others, will want to live right and help where we can.
This is what we will be.
This is our new identity in CHRIST.
And this is true for ALL of us.
I wish I could have been in that eatery and overheard their conversation.
I would have said “you will be children of THE MOST HIGH” and HE will guide you, take care of you, sustain you and your families and friends, and HE will show you how to live your life to your own good and to the good of others.”
That’s what I will say to “the guys” tomorrow in the prison where I volunteer – I bet some of them will have watched the series and will remember this conversation – even perhaps having had this conversation in their own life….
And I am saying it to all of us here, outside the physical prison, but perhaps some of us are in a prison as well, captured by our addictions, mental or physical health issues, depression, divorce, family feuds, perhaps your kids are failing in school or starting to take drugs, perhaps you are lonely, scared, confused or perhaps even suicidal.
You are a child of GOD.
You are loved.
You are worthy.
You have a purpose and you are here for a reason.
Your life is not a mistake.
GOD will use you.
HE will show you how to make a difference and how to create something good, how to bring about a message from your (current) mess.
GOD has a plan for you.
HE will guide your steps and show you the way and HE will show you the TRUTH.
JESUS CHRIST loves you and cares for your soul. Hopefully, you already know HIM and have a relationship with HIM. If not, if you are unsure or perhaps don’t even know what it is all about, I hope that this page can clear things up for you, can help you find THE TRUTH. Because only JESUS CHRIST is the true saviour, who can save your soul. JESUS is the way, the truth and the life. HE died on the cross for your sins, yes, that’s right, for yours and mine… it is all such a fascinating and yet true story. JESUS CHRIST came to earth as the SON OF GOD to save us all from the devil. And HIS works are still relevant today, HE is as alive today as he was more than 2000 years ago. And if you are not saved, HE wants to save you today, right here and right now: please don’t stay under the power of the king of darkness, please join us and give your life to THE LORD.
Here is an example of what you can pray in your heart right now, if you want to make JESUS LORD over your life:
“Dear Heavenly Father, I acknowledge and confess that I have not lived my life for YOU to this day, but have been living for myself and in sin and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need YOU in my life; I want YOU in my life.
I recognize the completed work of YOUR only begotten Son JESUS CHRIST in giving HIS life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart JESUS is LORD and that HE was raised from the dead and ask for YOUR forgiveness, which YOU have made freely available to me through this sacrifice.
Come into my life now, LORD!
Take up residence in my heart and be my KING, my LORD, and my SAVIOUR!
From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow YOU all the days of my life. Those days are in YOUR hands.
I ask this Jesus name.
If you have just prayed this prayer, you are now part of GOD’s kingdom and family and I heartily welcome you, my dear brother or sister!
The next thing to do is get a bible and find a church where you can receive further instructions, so that your new life in THE LORD may prosper and that you will become who HE made you to be.
GOD bless you and if you have any questions or need any assistance, please get in touch.
I hope and pray that this will encourage, bless, heal and inspire you.
And that GOD will bless you abundantly in all areas of your life. That HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you; and bring you PEACE. In JESUS’ name I pray. AMEN.
4 thoughts on “What would we be?”
The best saints come from the worst sinners. That is because we know how much of a sinner we were and are grateful for Jesus us freeing us from the prison we were in while lkiving in that sinful habit.
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That’s so true, my dear brother, the best example is Paul – from pursuing and murdering Christians to writing the most books in the bible! Thanks for the wisdom and for the reminder. GOD bless you!
You hit it on the nose Eva. It’s such a life principle in all walks of life. it sounds like you might have more transition in your life if you get a new job.
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Thanks Gary, for the comment and for the encouragement, much appreciated!
GOD bless you my dear brother!
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