Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.
The only time I ended up in the back of a cop car was ironically on a mission’s trip down to Southern California. We were recruiting low-income kids to our backyard Bible club in a rather “run-down” part of Los Angeles and during our recruiting process someone a street over was involved in a stabbing incident and apparently the suspect looked a lot like me.
I don’t remember much except a couple of cars ripping around the corner and throwing me on the hood…they read me my rights and put me in the back of the police car. After several minutes and lots of officers peeking into the window of that police car, they let me out, said very little and drove off.
It was a terrible 20 minutes of my life, I remembered thinking about the Apostles being arrested in the book of Acts in the back of that car and thinking to myself; “If I get arrested for sharing the gospel then I will be just to like the apostles and wait for the Holy Spirit to rip open my jail cell”.
By God’s grace it never came to that point but I can tell you this…I NEVER WANT TO BE IN THE BACK OF THE POLICE CAR AGAIN!
As awful as that experience was (and believe me, it was awful. I felt powerless, misunderstood, judged, and completely at the mercy of some Southern California officers.) It pales in comparison to the times in my life I carried real guilt, real shame and felt like I had to hide from God and others for the sole purpose of “self-preservation”.
To be arrested and in the back of a patrol car is BAD, to be mentally arrested by your own actions and live in the prison of our consciousness is almost unbearable. Living as a prisoner with a clean conscience is far more bearable than living in “freedom” only to be held captive by your own sinful attitudes and actions.
What I learned through this experience of my 30 minute “false accusation” incarceration is that as bad as it is to have cuffs around your wrists and officers treating you and talking to you “less than kindly” is a better version of life if doing the right thing (making relationships right, asking forgiveness, making restitution) costs you personally to have legal trouble.
If you’re faced with the dilemma of doing the right thing or doing the easy thing, you must believe (and begin to act out that belief) that doing the hard thing is often the best thing.
Reconciling your past mistakes behavior and moving forward with a clean heart, mind and conscience is not for the faint of heart but the reward of living on the other side with freedom, love and real intimacy is a destination worth pursuing!
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
Has making amends ended resulted in incarceration for your or your loved one? How did this confession and acceptance of punishment impact your recovery? Have you been able to use this to encourage and speak to others who may be facing the same thing in their recovery?
About the Author: Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together. Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
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Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 16, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com