How This Pastor Learned to Love the Unlovable Through Jail Ministry

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I often talk about the jail ministry I’m involved in; I just can’t help but tell about the greatness of God, and how He moves in the lives of the most broken. This particular instance was no exception. I was blessed beyond words as tears streamed down my face in one of our recent jail church services.

I’ve rarely had trouble with any of the ladies in the jail, but for the past few weeks, I’ve had one inmate who was determined to make my life a nightmare. She came into the service cursing and being extremely disrespectful. She would not listen and was a tremendous distraction to everyone else.

The ladies would ask her to be quiet and stop cursing because she was being disrespectful. I wanted to have her thrown out. I have the option to ask the jailers to come and get disruptive inmates and take them out at any time. If they are taken out of the service, they are not allowed to come back.

My patience was growing thin, and I was close to calling them to come and get her. But inside, I knew the Holy Spirit was not releasing me to do so. I bit my tongue and tried to ignore her shenanigans. The following week I was filled with dread when I saw her walk into the room again. Once again, I endured her disruptions, and I allowed her to stay in the service even though I wanted nothing more than to kick her out!

She repeated her performance again—disruptive, rude, obnoxious, argumentative and using all manner of profanity. I was so close to calling the jailers, but once again, I felt that I needed to endure. I’ll admit, I was finding it very hard to love this one. She was making ministry extremely difficult, but God was still obviously working in the lives of the other ladies.

On the third week, I had determined that if she came to the service, I was going to set some strict boundaries. Here she was, yelling loudly as she waltzed through the door. As all the ladies took their seats, I told them I needed to talk to them about something serious. I dreaded doing this because most of them would never dream of being disrespectful to me.

To find out what happened next and how I learned a valuable lesson on love, read the full story here. For more content like this, listen to Navigating Life in the Spirit on the Charisma Podcast Network. {eoa}

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