Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Points of No Return

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for
the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good
man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us
in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us… For if, when we were
God’s enemies, we were reconciled through the death of his Son, how much more,
having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

Romans 5:6-8,10,NIV


There are some choices in life that will permanently alter the path of one’s life. At Belay Enterprises, we exist because of society’s unwillingness to give individuals with felony convictions a second chance. Bud’s Warehouse and Baby Bud’s hire individuals for our job-training programs who are unable to get a job elsewhere because they are rebuilding a life from addiction, felony conviction, or homelessness.

We’ve always strived to make our programs a place about grace… living examples of God’s willingness to die for us individually while we are powerless…before we have our act completely cleaned up. God meets us in our place of brokenness, providing hope and healing through faith. But this is not the way of the world.

Every once in a while, we are jarringly reminded that our past bad choices sometimes have lasting consequences. We may find forgiveness and grace through Jesus but we still have to walk forward with the damage we caused by our actions.

In the job training and employment world, I like to believe that people can earn second chances if they prove themselves worthy of trust. But unfortunately, the system that seeks to prevent risk and liability often prevents this from happening. It means that an individual who is college educated in computer networking will be unable to find a job in the industry because of a past decision to use a computer in a crime. Or a person who happened to be an incidental accessory to a felony crime will now find it extremely difficult to find work as an accounts payable clerk. New accounting standards require audit warnings to management and reduce the likelihood of business insurance for a company hiring such a person.

These are hard realities to overcome even though people may have proven themselves worthy of a second chance. I believe that businesses should really worry about those without a past history of trouble verses those who made one poor decision but have done the hard work to regain trust.

But this is not the way of our world. The reality of consequences serves as a reminder to parents that we need to remind our children that there are decisions that can permanently alter our future. And it’s a reason our world needs faith venture organizations that help individuals navigate difficult career environments that result from past bad decisions.

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