I spent years trying to understand why I did crime, why I began so young and what I needed to do to stop! Even after learning the answer, I spent additional years learning how to stop doing crime.
Impatient greed motivates crime! No! environment challenges, such as poverty, diminished opportunities, etc. neither cause nor motivate crime. You do not inherit criminal thinking from your parents or other relatives. You see, crime is a way of thinking that makes it okay to harm others for self-gain. You do not do crime because others do. You do not do crime because you grow up in impoverished circumstances. Those are all lies, designed to accomplish the third of the three-prong prime directive of crime. All criminals desire to get over on people, to get away with it, and if caught to avoid the consequences, if possible, so the person can return to doing crime.
In other words, crime is a personal, individual decision that develops from impatient greed. Therefore, you do not have to do crime. In other words, you do crime because you want what you want and you want it now, no matter who you must harm to get it. Therefore, just as you decided to do crime, you can decide to stop!
Impatient greed often leads to violence because this mindset of getting what I want when i want it, no matter who I must hurt to get it, includes violence. When you do crime, you always try to go in with an advantage over your victim, just like any other predator.
Take a lion, for example. Lions hunt with great steath. They track a herd of African antelopes, for example, until they’re able to isolate one from the herd, cut it off and kill it. In the same way, criminals isolate victims, cutting them off from whatever could protect them from the crime.
Many people, particularly the families and loved ones of criminals do not like it when I refer to criminals as people predators, but I don’t know of a better term to succinctly describe the thinking, the attitude and the behavior called crime.
Okay, now you know why criminals do crime, and I don’t care how you label it, street crime, white collar crime, whatever, the definition holds up. Crime is a way of thinking that makes it okay to harm others to get what you want when you want it.
During the past 40 years, I have learned how I stopped during crime. I have isolated a seven-step process of inculcating certain basic principles into my life that have propelled me, over time, from crime to contribution. In summary, here’s what you must do:
1. Change your thinking, and when you do, you can . . .
2. Change your beliefs, and when you do, you can . . .
3. Change your perspectives, and when you do, you can . . .
4. Change your attitude, and when you do, you can . . .
5. Change your behavior, and when you do, you can . . .
6. Change your results or outcomes, and when you do, you can . . .
7. Change your life
This seven-step process leads to mental, emotional and physical changes that transform you from predator to contributor. But it’s not easy.
Remember, a three-prong prime directive governs criminal thinking. Criminals want to get over, get away and if caught, get out as soon as possible so they can return to getting over. The operative term in this directive is “get!” It summarizes the principal motivation of all crime–to get! To stop doing crime, you must change that thinking to the thinking summarized in what I refer to as the seven economic principles of the kingdom of God. Please understand that from whateve perspective you view it, crime is an economic issue. You–the criminal–do not have something you want! Usually, that “something” translates into a monetary value that you can trade or barter for something else you want, be it drugs, a fancy lifestyle, or whatever.
During the past 40 years, I have learned seven economic principles from the Bible that have been the principal reasons I no longer do crime because these principles yield a significantly greater return to me every month than my entire 20 years of doing crime did, combined.
This new thinking process begins with the priority principle stated in Matthew 6:33 that says: “Seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness and God will provide the basics–food, shelter and clothing. I do not have the time or the space here to elaborate on how this principle has been fulfilled in my life during the past 40 years, but rest assured that I know and know that I know the truth of this principle.
Next comes the performance principle, summarized in Luke 16:1-13 in the parable of the unjust steward. They key phrase says: “Anyone who is faithful in little will also be faithful in much. Being faithful in little means learning something that the Apostle Paul summarizes in his epistle to the Phillipians. He wrote: “I have learned that in whatever state I find myself, therewith to be content.” Being content with little is synonymous to being faithful in little. This attitude of mental contentment continues to abide with you even as God increases your blessings to what can only be defined as “much.”
Next comes what I refer to as the partnership principle, summarized in Luke 6:38: “Give and it will be given to you, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will men give into your bosom, because with the same measure you use in giving, I will measure it back to you.” I apply this partnership principle, for example, with investors. In every investment package I put together, the investors receive 60 percent of the project revenue off the top, before business expenses, before profit. I do that because God, my business partner, promises to use the same measure I use–in this case 60 percent–in providing blessings to me. So every business deal yields a 100 percent return for me.
Next comes the payment principle, summarized in mark 10:29-30 “‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields) and with them persecutions and in the age to come eternal life.'”
Now we come to the preparation principle, revealed in Gen. 26:1-3, 15-16: “Now there was a famine in the land–besides the earlier famine of Abraham’s time–and Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines in Gerar. The Lord appeared to Isaac and said: ‘Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you . . .Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.”
I was not anxious to return to Durham, my home town, where I had done all my crime, back in 1980 when God revealed through circumstances that I was to return here. I was struggling in Charlotte because I had quit my job at the Charlotte Observer, as a staff writer, to open my initial homebased business, as a fulltime free-lance writer. I knew absolutely nothing about being in business, and did not take time to learn before plunging into “business” which is different than being a writer. Like 몸캠피싱 대처 many other entrepreneurs, I knew how to do the work of my business–write professionally for various newspapers and magazines, but I did not know how to conduct the business of my work. So for the past 28 years, I have lived and worked in Durham, and God has granted me, as He did Isaac, a hundredfold blessing. Even now in the midst of what almost everyone refers to as an economic crisis, I see boundless opportunities for the continuing growth of my personal and business wealth. I am indeed in the right place at the right time with the right knowledge and a longrange plan.
The sixth of these seven principles you can use to stop crime is found in Prov. 14:23. “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads to poverty.” I refer to this as the professional principle.
As many of you know who regularly read what I write here, my first job after being released from prison on Dec. 9, 1968, was as a janitor in a local hotel, then called The Jack Tar Hotel/Motel. I worked hard there. I began my professional writing career in the fall of 1969 when I moved to Greensboro and wrote for a while for a weekly newspaper there–The Carolina Peacemaker. Then back to Durham where I wrote for a while for The Carolina Times, and then on to Raleigh where I wrote for a while for The Carolinian. In June 1970, I landed my first daily newspaper job–a staff writer with the Wilmington (NC) Star-News. Then in August 1974, after being out of prison for just six years, I landed a position as staff writer with The Charlotte Observer, one of the best newspapers in the southeastern United States. Again, I know and know that I know that all hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads to poverty.
I refer to the seventh of these principles that have guided me from crime to contribution as the Providential principle, stated in the following verses of Proverbs, chapter 22: Verse 2–“Ill-gotten treasure are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death; verse 4–“Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth; verses 14 through 17–“Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin. The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor. The wages of the righteous bring them life, but the income of the wicked brings them punishment. He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. Finally, verses 21 and 22–“The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment. the blessing of the Lord brings wealth and he adds no trouble with it.”