[Note: Written directly after pondering a Jail bible study experience as an inmate, right after it happened.]
Gangs, gang signs, gang calls. The feeling of being powerful, of having a family, of being part of something. A lot of people become extremely deep and involved in a gang, which for some reason, always has the tendency to break the law. Why? Because of other gangs, which results in a power conflict of everything gang related, from women, drugs, money and revenge.
When many people joined gangs, they never really considered that by being in a gang, there is a huge crime enhancement if they ever go to jail. In Sacramento, any gang related crime receives an additional ten years, not including the sentence of the crime itself. Why? Because it is well known among society that gangs are one of the main reasons of society degradation, affecting a majority of young boys and girls, people of all ages, nationality, class and sex in a horribly negative way.
When you’re in a gang, you get locked in. The gang becomes your life, your enjoyment, and your income, even protection. From what? That’s the thing. Gangs have so many enemies. People are getting killed daily by rival gang members, women are constantly assaulted and killed for revenge or business. But the gangster has a pride. In what? His gang name, gang signs, and gang calls. It’s his prideful presentation to all fellow gang members or rivals of his position and involvement.
But. One day, the gang member gets caught by police, and goes to jail for many years. He starts to consider and realize that maybe he should live a less dangerous life, because the jail years really hurt and pulled him from whom he loved. He sees his homies getting 25 years to life, with no more people (or homies) caring for that lifer, because well…he’s gone, and with it, the support from the gang.
So now the gangster inwardly seeks an alternative. And behold, one day he receives the gospel of God, accepts Jesus and gets saved. He learns that the gang protection is unnecessary, that Jesus can protect him better. He learns that righteousness and lawfulness is just as profitable and rewarding as pimping women, selling drugs or robbing. He learns that with Jesus, he can stop looking over his shoulders, and find peace. And it’s so great, so amazing, he believes and receives…and when the church meeting is over and he walks out of the room with his spirit soaring…he runs into a fellow gang member. And what do I see him do? I see him howling gang calls, throwing up gang signs, and strutting around like a rooster.
But wait…what happened to Jesus? “Oh, but he did receive Jesus” someone says. Then why is he still showing pride in a gang, which he knows will only keep him in the circle of violence, jail time and death? By following and accepting Jesus, you are putting off “the worldly things” to receive God’s spirit. So, if you received Jesus, why are you still associating yourself with something so worldly?
Did they simply not get it? Was their whole “receiving Jesus” an act? I don’t know, and that’s not for me to judge. But instead of questioning their spirituality, let’s question their soul. Why the soul? Because it’s their mind, emotion and will. The emotions express the mind, and their will expresses their emotions.
You know what it is?
The newly saved gangster is afraid to be judged by his old homies.
He’s afraid to be considered a “dropout,” as though it’s the biggest shame, even though so many gangsters in their heart, privately wish they could. What are they afraid of? Getting killed? Didn’t they just learn that Jesus will protect them? And even if they die, haven’t they learned that this human life is so short, and the rewards of their death for Jesus will result in the greatest ETERNAL reward?
But no, instead they stubbornly choose to hold on to that life, their sin still grasping onto their ankle and Satan constantly whispering into their ears about all the physical (deadening) pleasures of being in a gang, doing works completely against the will of God.
Gangsters, in the end, Jesus will conquer the earth. All your gang pride at that time will not bring you peace, but shame. Knowing that Satan was already judged by the cross, by continuing your gang rituals you are lingering with the losing side. Join the winning side! Forget your gang, the signs, and calls that only take you away from Jesus, our king and savior, and God the almighty creator and father. Do not fear what others think, do not fear for your life, instead be a model for Jesus to give salvation to your homies still lost. You’re not “this gang” or “that gang,” you’re a part of Jesus Christ, the heavenly victor.
Stay with the heavenly victor? Or continue following the one who already lost on earth. If you wish to join the victor, you must eliminate that gang activity. Not only that, but your illegal drug trades, and robbing, pimping and shootings. Once you do this, pray to God, and he will provide, as said in Luke 12: 24, and Luke 12:29, and 1st John 3:4-9. For the most glorious word and encouragement, read Matthew 7:7-11 of the Holy Bible, which is God’s very life and word. Seek, before it’s too late.