At his sentencing, David denied his crime. He couldn’t let himself believe that he had really done it, so he remained staunchly committed to his lie.
Then a Crossroads mentor’s words changed everything.
While serving in the Navy, David had developed an addiction to pornography. Throughout his career, he had many encounters with God and eventually became a believer, but he struggled to give up that part of his life and follow the Lord wholeheartedly.
“I had no Bible,” he remembered. “Nobody ever told me to read the Bible daily.”
Upon his retirement, he settled down with his family, but he found himself jealous of all the time they had spent together that he had missed. He longed for a special connection of his own.
“Satan planted the ‘poor me syndrome’ in my head, which is a slap in the face of God’s incredible provision,” David acknowledged. “But was I in my Bible? No. Was I in prayer? No. Did I even consider living a holy life attainable? No.”
This mindset eventually led to his crime and arrest.
“[My crime] causes me deep regret and shame,” he said. “I catered to my own lusts of the flesh and then went into denial that it ever happened!”
Shortly after he began serving his time, he signed up as a Crossroads student and started his first course, Who Are You? In his first lesson, he included a question to the mentor who would review the lesson, asking how to deal with the guilt and shame he still felt even though he had proclaimed Jesus as his Savior. When he received the lesson back, he was blown away by what he saw.
“My first mentor gave me fourteen pages of written notes (they were written on every open space on my Lesson #1, which I copied to college-ruled paper, and I had fourteen pages when I was done)! Wow! A Christian sister really, really cared about my soul and my salvation enough to write fourteen pages of comments, questions, Scripture, and prayers,” David recalled. “[She] was not afraid to ask the hard questions that finally led me to abandon lies and deceit and embrace the truth.”
Spurred by the mentor’s comments and questions, David finally admitted the truth—to himself, his wife, his attorney, and his judge.
“I had a chance to come clean with my sentencing judge, and he commended me! No sentence reduction, but I am now so free inside,” he declared. “To the glory of God, my wife forgave me and recognizes that I am a new creation in Christ.”
Along with faithfully completing his Crossroads Bible studies, David has committed to daily Bible reading and prayer. With the help of his mentors, he is strengthening his relationship with God and learning about the way God wants him to live.
“The value of a godly person writing to a man who needs help more than he knows cannot be overstated. Your mentors are worth their weight in gold!” David said. “Every moment I devote to doing a Crossroads Bible study is a moment I am getting closer to the Lord. God has cleansed my heart with the washing of the Word. God has changed the desires of my heart. God is teaching me to think of others before I think of myself. Living a holy life is now an attainable goal with the Holy Spirit inside me!”
As he continues to study, David remains eternally grateful to the mentor who reviewed his very first lesson.
“I am positive that my first mentor was put there by God to jar me into the reality of my deceit,” he shared. “I will never meet her this side of heaven, but I owe her my life!”
Your words can have the same impact on someone in prison—someone who needs encouragement to release their grip on sin and give themselves fully to the Lord. Please consider serving our brothers and sisters behind bars as a volunteer mentor.