Daily Devotions

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Snakes and Their Bites

Thursday, November 30, 2023

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“We spend most of our time treating snake bites when we should be spending our time killing snakes.” – Mike Huckabee

As many of my readers know, I have spent the vast majority of my adult life ministering to prisoners and at-risk youth. In fact, over the course of 35 years, I was able to share the gospel with an estimated 500,000 inmates in hundreds of different correctional institutions across North America and Africa. These days I spend much of my time caring for mostly minority young men from broken homes and dysfunctional families.

And guess what? Those two people groups – prisoners and at-risk youth – have a lot in common. In fact, I am convinced that the #1 cause of people going to prison or teens joining gangs, dropping out of school, taking drugs, or engaging in other criminal behavior is this: the lack of a loving and stable dad or any positive male role model in their lives.

Studies continue to show that out-of-wedlock birth (and the resulting fatherless homes) is the leading predictor of future incarceration and lifelong poverty. That is why I am tired of putting a Band-Aid on society’s problems when the solution is so clear.

Sure, racism is real and the justice system isn’t always fair. But that isn’t why minorities, especially black males, are overly represented in America’s jails and prisons. Simply put, it is because black males, while representing only 6% of the general population, commit 63% of all violent crimes in America. And why does such a small percentage commit so many violent crimes? Because the out-of-wedlock birth rate in the black community has risen from 25% in 1965 to 72% today.

Like Mike Huckabee said in today’s quote, treating symptoms instead of their cause is a waste of time, energy, and resources. It would be far better if we emphasized the importance of the family in our society and stressed waiting until marriage to have sex (and children).

In the same way, treating someone’s physical and emotional needs without addressing their spiritual ones is only helpful to a point. Unless you want them to regress – and to spend eternity in hell – they need to be introduced to Jesus Christ, the Great Physician. Only He can completely heal them from the inside out.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside may become clean as well.” Matthew 23:25-26 (BSB)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

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