Oh, I don't mean productive in the sense of making money or being famous, but rather that core productivity that is essential to each individual person's well-being. That sense that we have worthwhile work to do and we are important in some sense, to our nearest and dearest, to our community, and, for a few, for to a larger community. But somehow, someway having value is the key to joyous living. I think this is what often causes the most damage in prisons and jails, when we take someone who already knows they have made serious errors that have affected the well-being and safety of not only themselves, but those they love the most and the community at large, and basically tell them to think about nothing else for months or years.
When I have the special privilege of working with incarcerated women the lines of demarcation are clear to see, those who have found something worthwhile to do with their time "inside", such as working with other inmates to pass their GED or are part of dog training programs or are learning a skill that can provide better employment when they are released are far more at ease with themselves overall than those who are still mired in a sense of worthlessness. This is no less true on the outside...just check out any high school cafeteria to see who is living and who is existing.
Considering how thoroughly off track and messed up our lives can get, knowing that God can give us a fresh start is pretty exciting. Now, don't make the mistake some baby Christians make, thinking that we can just say, "OK, God, give me a free restart here!" because that is not at all how it works. But we can, and are encouraged to say, "OK, God, I've gotten seriously off track and realize I need Your help every day. I accept that by following Your directions I will learn things that are important to becoming the person You created me to be. Please keep me from damaging others. Help me be wise and strong by the power of the Holy Spirit and lead me where You would have me go in the way you would have me go. I am like a baby, Lord, who needs to be taught how to be new in you! Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and hands and feel willingly serving You. Thank-you, Lord, for loving me so. AMEN."
Now you are wearing a new life, a life that is new every day. You are growing in your understanding of the one who made you. You are becoming more and more like him. Col 3:10
Check out Colossians 3 at this link for more to consider--https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+3&version=ERV