I Was a Fool
The following account demonstrates the life-changing effect of Christ’s love poured out through a body of believers committed to the rescue and restoration of a felowbeliever enslaved by sin.
In July of 2003, I was in major sin; I had been dishonest, mean, indifferent and my heart and motives in my relationships were wrong. I was reading Proverbs one night and came to some verses that discussed the differences between a fool and a wise man. I didn’t think a whole lot about the word fool until I looked further. In the notes of my Bible it stated that a fool is someone who acts as if God does not exist. This statement struck me hard because I knew that I had been choosing to live as if God did not exist. But the fact is that God does exist and He knows our every thought and action. I knew this, and I knew better than to choose sin over and over again. I was without excuse.
I asked Jesus to come into my heart when I was six years old. I really don’t have a memory of this, but my mother told me about it. We attended church sporadically when I was growing up, but I always had a Christian influence in our home. I attended Youth for Christ in middle school and had friends who were Christians. I also attended Christian summer camps as a child and throughout my high school years. For as long as I can remember, during these summer camps I accepted Christ as my Savior just in case I had done something wrong; I was terrified of going to hell. I viewed being a Christian as someone who would go to heaven and who should not do "real bad" things.
I was very fortunate to attend a private boarding school for high school. It was an Episcopalian school, but it might as well have been pagan, because although we were required to go to chapel once a week, the person of Jesus Christ was never mentioned. Unfortunately, this did not bother me; I was not interested in living the Christian life much past saying that I was a Christian and not doing the "real bad" things–like doing drugs or immoral behavior–that some of the girls did. But I was sneaking around and drinking and doing other things I knew were wrong. My friends in high school knew that I was a Christian, but I was certainly not a good testimony to them.
After graduating high school, I moved back home. During that summer, I felt so guilty about my secret sin life during high school that I confessed my sin to my family and some friends. At this time I cleaned up my obvious outer sins and to the outside world, I looked okay.
I moved to Boone, North Carolina in July of 1992 to live with my family and friends who are a part of my Christian fellowship. During the next 12 years I lived a dishonest life, pretending that I was some nice Christian who cared about my friends and family. The facts spoke very differently. Beneath the surface, I was mean, manipulative and didn’t care about anyone but myself. I was indifferent to people and hid the fact that my motives and heart were wrong. Basically I did not care about anyone but myself, and I didn’t care how my manipulating hurt other people. And it hurt real people. I did not care about them or what God had to say about me and my sin.
In the spring of 2003 some of these sin choices both past and present were exposed. When confronted, I was resentful and did whatever I could do to relieve myself of guilt by blaming others rather than taking responsibility for my sin. I chose to leave my fellowship instead of confessing my sin and repenting. I even lost my job in my own business during this time because I had been mean to some of my employees at work. My business partners (my sister and brother-in-law) could not trust me to treat our employees right and do a good job in our restaurant. My sin choices affected my life in every way.
I moved to an apartment in a town close by and lived there by myself for 2 1/2 months. One night I was on the phone with my mother and a friend and agreed to two things: I would not watch TV, and I would call someone every day. (When I first moved in, I watched TV all of the time to try to get out of the reality of where I was). I was miserable there, but not miserable enough to do anything about it. I did continue to call my parents and sister, but I did it just to please them, not because I was desperate and wanted to be right with God and others. As I write this testimony I am just sickened by my callousness toward God and the sin in my life.
My heart and motives continued to be wrong, including my relationships in my new job. I kept telling myself that I was not going do anything I knew was wrong; but in the back of my mind, I knew that my wrong motives would lead to more wrong behavior. I started becoming scared of where sin would take me. But, still, I was stiff-necked and did not confess my sin. I knew all along that I needed to confess and tell my family I was sorry, but I kept choosing not to. One night when I was at my sister’s house, she started asking me questions, and I finally began to get honest about what was really going on inside me. That night was the beginning of my sister and mother coming to rescue me. I am very grateful to them for rescuing me; I am also ashamed that my life came to that–that I chose sin over and over and needed to be rescued.
I ended up moving in with my sister and brother-in-law that same night. It was a few days later that I read in Proverbs about a fool and saw what a fool was. I knew that I was a fool because I knew better. Of course I knew God existed and what His requirements were for Christians. But until then I wasn’t willing to stop sinning, confess, repent, and make restitution.
About a month later I was given the opportunity to confess my sin to my family and fellowship and ask their forgiveness. I am grateful that I was given another chance to enjoy fellowship with my friends and family. Today I continue to make restitution for the sin that I chose for years. The main thing I know to do is to live right and be there for others. When Jesus Christ is living His life out through you, you see the needs of people and are able to step in and be there for them.
I never really knew what right living could be like. Before, I would worry about being "found out"; but today I live free knowing that I am not sinning and always trying to hide. I now live in a neighborhood with several families that have children. I have always loved being with children, and God has given me the perfect opportunity to be of help to them and their families. I help them with their homework and baby-sit when their parents are busy. I am very privileged to be able to help guide these children through their tough teenage years. Today, I am no longer a fool. I am not trying to manipulate people to get what I want or to make them think that I am someone that I am not. I am trusting Jesus Christ to live out through me, and He is perfect love. My relationships with God and with people are free and clean. Every day I am very grateful for where I am spiritually and physically.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 25 No 3
- Harmonious Relationships
- Editor’s Note
- Fellowship In Philadelphia, PA
- I Was a Fool
- "If we walk in the light…"
- C.T. Was Right & We Were Wrong
- Fellowship on the Mission Field
- Fellowship in the Body
- "Let us love one another…"
- My Personal Discovery of Total Truth
- How Do I Look at People?
- Long on Faith, Short on Love
- "Make my joy complete…"
- Applied to the Daily Life
- Fellowship of Believers
- Difficult People
- Walking with My Brother
- The Standard is Perfection
- Many Members, but One Body…
- Words to Live By