Testimony Time II
Posted by Job on May 4, 2007
I was discussing with my coworkers what the goal of a parent should be in raising children. Many things were given about the various things that a parent should want his or her child to be and how to guide the child towards those directions, but there seemed to be a general agreement in the area of “raise your child to be a good person.” Now that presented two problems to me. First, having been raised in the church, I knew that being a truly good person was unattainable, because no one is good but God, and also insufficient for entry into heaven. Second, I knew that I most certainly was not a good person. I was a liar, accuser, and a gossip. I was quick to lose my temper and hurl profanities and racial slurs. I was dishonest in my financial affairs, my marriage was failing, my health was declining, my child was being neglected, and all of those things were someone else’s fault. I would make and break promises and often procrastinate. Projects that I would start would have to be finished by others who often would have to correct my shoddy work. In addition, I had a problem with compulsive masturbation that began after I took a comprehensive sex education course in my public school, was addicted to pornography, would constantly leer at women, and was tormented by violent, vulgar, and sexual thoughts that would trouble me all night long.
A great many of these things I managed to keep hidden from my wife and from others, but I was still being destroyed, not only by my problems but by the stress of having to conceal them and the fear of being caught and exposed. An even bigger cause of stress and fear was that my behavior gave me no pleasure or comfort at all. I would do these things and only feel fear, guilt, shame, and self – hate afterwards, yet I could not stop no matter how hard I tried. I considered suicide as a means of escape, thinking that my wife and child would be better off without me, but I knew from my religious upbringing that were I to die in my condition, I would spend an eternity in the lake of fire, and to me that was the most fearful and stressful thing of all.
One night I saw my son, still practically a baby, imitate my bad behavior. Right then I imagined him growing up to become just like me, and knew that it would be entirely my fault! Instead of raising my son to “be a good person”, I was the primary bad influence in his life! I ran into the bathroom and cried, telling God that I did not love my son, my wife, myself, or even Him and had never given or experienced love in my entire life, and asked Him to put love in my heart; to teach me how to give, receive, and show love. Then I heard a small voice that said “Keep my commandments.” That was it, those three simple words. I recognized them as the words of Jesus Christ and that they were true, but instead of comforting me and appearing to be the answer to my problems, it struck me as a curse, a death sentence. I had been trying to keep God’s commandments all my life and failing, with each failure worse and worse and removing me further and further from the presence of God. How could God ask me to do the impossible like that? I asked my wife about it, and she said “It is impossible for a man to do, but with God all things are possible.” So even though I knew that I could not do it, I decided to try. Obeying that small still voice that I heard was my only hope.
I did not go to church, because I had attended them all my life and they had never given me the answer. Instead I started studying my Bible and watching Christian television, trying to learn the secrets of doing the impossible. I found some answers, but I just could not break through or get over the barrier because I could not stop doing bad things. Finally, I saw this man on television tell me what I had never heard in a lifetime of going to church and doing religious things. This man said that Jesus Christ, when He died on the cross, took care of all of the bad things that I had ever done and would ever do, and that I didn’t have to worry about the things that I had done or that I might do. He also said that there was nothing that I could ever do to add to what Jesus Christ had already done; that Jesus Christ had finished it once and for all.
Now that was different from what I had learned in church. Some of the churches that I had been to told me that if I did something wrong, I would have to start all over again, and if I went too far, did too much, or died at the wrong time I would be separated from God forever. The other never dealt with the topic at all, but instead talked about family values, political issues, and how to gain wealth and receive miracles. But this man’s message: it was entirely different from anything I had heard! It seemed too good to be true! I asked my wife if it was true, and she told me that it was what she had been trying to tell me ever since we had first met. So I believed.
Immediately, the huge weight of fear, stress, and shame that was like a boulder sitting on my chest lifted, and I felt peace and hope instead. I was able to tell my wife the truth about the things that I was doing and ask her forgiveness, which she gave. Over time my speech changed: I no longer gossip, curse, rail against white people or Jews, or lie to cover up my behavior. My health problems are gone, the family finances are under control, and my wife, son, and I were healed of illnesses. My wife and I are so close that we are extensions of each other. I spend more time with my son, the behavioral problems that he was developing are reversed, and God even answered his prayer for a baby sister, born just a few days ago. And yes, I now sleep at night.
It has not been easy. I still have desires to go back to my old ways, and have suffered relapses. I am still not a good person and will never be. But God is good, and by believing on what Jesus Christ did, the God that is good is in me. I keep the commandments of God by believing on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and because of that I will be with God forever. Now I run an Internet outreach effort, among other things, that sends messages advertising the grace and forgiveness that is available to them through Jesus Christ on some of the very same Internet pornography sites that I once frequented, and I received my first statement from someone accepting and believing what Jesus Christ did for them through that ministry just a few days ago. So yes, God is good, and if you believe on Jesus Christ, the good God will live in you. So, if God saved and changed me, He can do the same for you. Follow this link and see how.
Job King Atlanta, Georgia, USA