I'm in prison on drug charges right now, and I know I've been a terrible husband and father. I'll be getting out soon, and I want things to be different, but I don't know how. I know I'll need to stay away from drugs and alcohol, but beyond that, how can I reform myself? — J.R.
The most important step you can take is to turn to Christ and seek His help as you face the future. In yourself you don't have the strength to resist temptation and change everything that needs changing—but with God's help you can. Ask Christ to come into your life today.
How will Christ help you? First, He'll give you a new purpose in life. During most of your life you have been living for yourself, trying to satisfy your own desires and putting yourself first. But when you give your life to Christ, you will begin to want to live for Him and do things that will please Him. The Bible says, "We make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it" (2 Corinthians 5:9).
You'll also find that God gives you a new power for living. You will discover that God loves you, and you'll want to love Him in return. He loves you so much that Jesus Christ was willing to sacrifice His life for you on the cross. And when we give our lives to Him, He comes to live within us by His Spirit. The Bible says, "The Spirit helps us in our weakness" (Romans 8:26).
Don't let your old "friends" drag you down once you return home. Instead, get in a church where Christ is preached and lived, and learn what it means to walk with Him every day. With Christ you can start life over again—beginning today.