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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Setting Prisoners Free

If you could ask "one thing" of the Lord, and have it granted, what would it be? Why don't you ask? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 764).
I would very simply ask that everyone on earth without exception be happy; for if they were happy they would have a sense of being blessed more than they deserve. From this stance they would show forth gratitude coincident with a positive passion – including offering generously their creative resources and talents. I stipulate "without exception" for some would surely contest that there are those who deserve to be unhappy. That may be true, for example I may hear today from my doctor that I have terminal cancer. Yet, I would still pray that I be happy for that will shield me from bitterness and fear, and fill me with inexplicable joy and gratitude. As true love drives out fear and parsimonious bitterness, so does genuine happiness.  I am glad that Jesus's preeminent sermon was the Beatitudes for indeed such is the kingdom of heaven.

Last night I attended a meeting at which there was given a lecture on the criminal mind. There are at least three key elements to this mentality: a feeling of victimization, a desire for the "quick and easy", and a "go for it" rationalization that obviates conscience. It strikes me at once that the preeminent characteristic absent from the criminal mind is true peace and happiness and in its stead an underlying bitterness that rationalizes breaking the law. Instilling happiness from this point of view would indeed induce a new perception and thereby truly set prisoners free.
 [Ref: Inside the Criminal Mind. Stanton E. Samenow, 1984, 2004, 2014]

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