Christian Life Program Men Grow in New Patterns of Righteousness

Some of the men on the Christian Life Program are there because of some adverse or difficult life circumstances, but virtually all of the men on the Christian Life Program are in recovery because of bad choices and/or struggles with addictions of some sort. Hiding, covering up, lying, manipulation are very much issues they have to address to experience God’s grace and healing. The men on the program are not allowed to have outside jobs for the first 85% of their time here on the program. In place of an income, they are provided with either $5 or $10 a week as an allowance, depending on where they are in the program.
Recently, a CLP staff member was distributing weekly allowances to the men. One client was accidentally handed 6 one dollar bills instead of the 5 he was to receive. The client counted his money and handed a 1 dollar bill back, saying he should only have 5. Shortly after that, another man was handed $10 when he should have only been given $5. The staff member had inadvertently read the wrong line. The client handed $5 back to the staff member, saying he shouldn’t have received that much. Shortly after that, the staff member was speaking with another client about his allowance. The allowance roster indicated he should receive $10. The client was in the last part of his program and had just gotten a job. He had an income now and knew that was when allowances stopped. He could have taken the $10 allowance and no one would have known the difference, but he did not. What was meaningful about these three instances was that each man could have gotten away with something to their advantage and to someone else’ loss. But because they listened to a still small voice from the Holy Spirit, they did not yield to their normal patterns of hiding, covering up, lying or manipulating. They were setting new patterns of godliness, righteousness and holiness. Each of the 3 men was thanked as each incident happened and encouraged in what the staff member saw in their personal growth. What a privilege to be in the ministry of the Kingdom of Christ! New creations!
(Written by Bret Kroh – Assistant Administrator of the Christian Life Program at City Union Mission)