“Hey, little punks, you think you can take me? Think because you see me small and skinny you can drop me?” This used to be my attitude before I became a Christian because I was trying to get respect, so I took pleasure in fighting and humiliating people who got in my way. In my early years of life, I was raised in a religious background. I listened to stories from the Old Testament like David defeating Goliath, but this only boosted my thirst for respect and acknowledgement. I was fitting God into my own satisfaction for violence and as an excuse to feel superior. In my own twisted mind, I believed that God was in my corner on this endless fight for respect.
As for Christ, I didn’t know who He was or what He had done for me on the cross. As time went by, I continued to fight for respect because it fed my ego. As a result of this, my anger problem with the people around me and God Himself became even bigger, putting a frown on my face because I had suffered throughout my childhood. I blamed God for most of the bad things that happened in my life and grew to despise Him, cursing His name. I even began to deny His existence. Right after this, I quit going to church and continued to live sinfully. One day, a lady that used to go to the church my parents attended, asked me if I wanted to go on a retreat her church was promoting. So I told her “sure, why not” just to be respectful, but actually I was not planning to attend. The next day, to my surprise, somebody showed up to pick me up, even though I didn’t want to go. However, since I had given her my word, I went for three days of pain at a church retreat. As I was miserably being tortured with religion, thoughts came to my mind, like, “These little Christians think they can change me.” However, I immediately started to change my thinking because I did not want to mess with the things of God. Instead, I started thinking, what if this is the last chance I have to get right with God? Suddenly, thoughts of death crawled into my mind. I knew that was a reality I had to face sooner or later. And that’s when it hit me that if I would’ve died right then, I would not go to heaven. So I said, “God, I give up, I’ll do it Your way.” I knew that all the sins I had committed were keeping me out of heaven. Soon after that, the good news of Jesus Christ was explained to me that if I believed that Jesus died for my sins, I would be completely forgiven by God and have eternal life in heaven. So I completely trusted that Christ had died to pay for my sins.
For weeks after that, nothing changed, so I thought that it must have been just a religious experience, something psychological. For this reason, I continued to live the same way, thinking that nothing had happened. However, I wasn’t the same. I felt guilty for the things I was doing wrong, and for the first time, I talked about Jesus Christ to my smoking and drinking buddies. This got me thinking that I should stop doing these bad habits because I was setting a bad example. So I stopped and instead started to read my Bible to find out more about the Christ who had saved me. Each time I did, my love and respect for Him grew stronger. Soon after that, a strong desire to tell others about my faith came. I’m now sharing this life-changing good news with others. Also, I no longer have a frown on my face nor do I need respect from others because I am significant to God and special to Him since becoming one of His spiritual kids.
M. Cruz, Texas