The Three-Legged Stool
What is the “three-legged stool” and what could a stool possibly have to do with making a successful transition out of prison?
Take a seat and we will explain.
Over the years, we have observed that men who make a successful transition out of prison have a good, strong base in three areas of their lives:
- They live in a stable home environment
- They are in fellowship in a local church
- They are working or at least working to find a job
These form the three legs of the stool that your future rests upon. Weaken or remove one of the legs and you are at risk.
Living in a stable home environment
You need a safe haven when you get out of prison. Ideally, you will have a home with other Christians who are seeking the Lord with the same passion that you have. You need a place with a little more space than you had on your prison bunk. It’s a place where you can turn off the noise and be alone with the Lord, read your Bible and praying.
You need such a home when you leave prison. It will provide you with time and a little space to be separated unto Jesus Christ so that you can walk as a believer when you go out the front door.
Fellowship in a Local Church
You also need to be in fellowship with other Christians. God has designed His body to minister to each other. Each of us is gifted for different areas of service and we need to receive from other members of the body as well as minister to other members of the body.
You also need to be in church in order to be accountable to other men of God. Ask them to pray for you. Keep them informed regarding your progress in finding work, becoming the husband and father that God has called you to be, dealing with people in the community, etc. We all need prayer and we all need to be accountable to someone who can provide us with some loving direction.
How can you find a good church? Pray. Ask the Lord to direct you to a place where the Bible is taught and Jesus Christ is truly worshipped. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you discernment to find a trustworthy place where you can put down roots and get involved. Avoid places that focus constantly on their need for your money. If the messages from the pulpit seem to focus on finances too much then find somewhere else to worship.
Find a job
Get employed, even if it is initially part-time or relatively low paying. Again, the place to begin is in prayer before the Lord. Work is important. The Lord will begin to teach you on the job. No one in the Bible who was used by God was struck with a vision while sitting under a pomegranate tree. The men God uses are the ones who take care of the responsibilities in front of them – holding down a job, caring for their family, serving the people that the Lord places in their lives. You will learn how to walk as a Christian on the job. The Lord will provide you with skills to do your work as unto the Lord. You will learn diligence, patience and you will begin to discover what you are gifted to do. And you will avoid having idle time that could lead you into trouble.
Work honestly and work hard. You can outperform most people by getting to work on time and sober everyday and working until it is time to quit.
Work is an important part of our life as men of God. Begin praying now for the Lord to provide you with a good start on becoming employed once you leave prison.
Whalla! Now you know what the three-legged stool is and you can see how three strong legs will provide you with a good place to rest you future upon. Do not be discouraged, even if things do not seem to be working out at first. Continue walking the walk of faith that the Lord has called you to as you enter this new phase of life.
Remember what God said about you in Jeremiah 29:11, ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.‘ He is thinking about you; He has a plan for your life. Submit your life’s goals to the Lord and see what His plan is. Then follow Him as He leads you step by step out of prison into His marvelous light.
May the Lord bless you on the journey.