Don’t Get Choked Out

Mark 4:7, 18-19

“And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit…And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”

Noah Webster defines “other things” as “events or actions.” Many events take place throughout the day in corrections work, some minor and some major, but they all have the potential to choke us out and keep us from growing closer to God and our family.

We do a job that is a help to the citizens of our society, both those that are law abiding and those that aren’t. We protect the innocent and keep those that offend in a place where they can be positioned for repentance. One would think that a job that is ordained by God would be conducive to quick spiritual growth. However, the truth is that it is easy to get choked out spiritually in this profession and become unfruitful. There are tactics we employ to reduce the risk of being physically choked out, and there are strategies we must use to avoid being choked out spiritually, thereby reducing the risk of stunted spiritual growth. God has a desire for His children to grow and flourish wherever He has called them to be. God never asks us to do something we cannot do. He has provided all the tools necessary to complete the task.

A wise gardener checks his garden daily to insure weeds do not hinder the growth of his vegetables. Every day a new crop of weeds grow in his garden. Likewise, new crops of weeds quickly spring up in our environment. Many times we walk into a pod or a cell block and see and feel the weeds taking hold. A spiritual garden check is necessary on a daily basis. We don’t have the liberty to look for weeds anytime we choose to during the day, but we should at least check twice a day—morning and evening. The devil gives us the excuse of fatigue. Are we tired? Oh, my YES! Show me an officer who isn’t tired. However, those precious minutes we spend reading our Bible and praying are a must to keep us from getting “choked out.”

This post was written by
Founder of Heirs of Restraint Ministries & Missouri Correctional Officer

1 Comment on "Don’t Get Choked Out"

  • stevedaley09@gmail.com'
    Steve Daley says

    I have allowed my job as a New York State Correctional Officer to “choke out” my faith and my love for almost everybody in my life. I struggle with the idea that sometimes it seems like a “requirement” to do things on the job that GOD doesn’t approve of. I’m not talking about physically mistreating an inmate or anything like that but an example I can give is about a month ago I had a very aggressive inmate approaching me and threatening me. I told him several times to return to his cube in the most professional manner I could muster but he wouldn’t listen. I eventually used some very vulgar language toward him and he backed up. I know sometimes inmates have a problem understanding direction unless you bring it down to “their level” but GOD doesn’t want me being at their level he wants me to represent him in all trials. Sometimes it feels like I can’t be a Christian and a C.O. at the same time. This is really dragging my home life and work life down. Please pray for me and my family.

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