Have you ever tried to change something in your life but as you started to make changes you began to get discouraged and end-up quitting?
IF so, I would like to share my testimony with you.
“In working for the victims of evil habits, instead of pointing them to the despair and ruin toward which they are hastening, turn their eyes to Jesus. Fix them upon the glories of the heavenly. This will do more for the saving of body and soul than will all the terrors of the grave when kept before the helpless and apparently hopeless.” Ministry of Healing, p. 62.
Often we see “stop smoking” and “fight cancer” campaigns. These advertisements often try to reform tobacco and cigarette users by all the terrors of the grave. I remember clearly the ad showing an elderly lady smoking from a hole in her throat, as though saying this will eventually be your fate! Or they’ll show you the difference between a smoker’s lung and a healthy non-smoker’s lung. Another scare tactic is the bottle of lung tar residue from a victim’s lung. During demonstrations they’ll ask you to breath out of a straw to illustrate how restricted smokers’ breathing patterns are. But, does this really work? I’ve heard smokers say, I don’t want to hear all the bad side effects of cigarettes. I know all of that, and I’m not going to quit smoking. This is just not enough to get me to stop. If you want to help me you will need to try a different approach. But the smoker looking to quit this vicious addiction just doesn’t have the answer. How do I quit? This quote gives us the answer. “…turn their eyes to Jesus. Fix them upon the glories of the heavenly.” Simply, point them to the foot of the cross and the one who cures disease. The name, Jesus, means Savior FROM sin (See Matthew 1:21).
Thus, helping people find the divine savior will give victims of evil habits strength to overcome their sinful passions.
Before I knew Christ my motivation to change was so others around me would notice the difference. I would strive to do well, but when others didn’t realize I was a “changed” person I would get discouraged. I’d do a few good deeds but when I slipped-up, I’d hear comments like “see! You ALWAYS do that, or, you NEVER care” while I was trying so hard to change. This would hurt and discourage me so much that I would eventually give up and revert to the old Enoch.
It wasn’t until I turned 16 that I gave my heart to Christ, when I found myself at my lowest state, I realized I needed something different in my life. I then began to seek after Christ with my whole heart. And when I finally decided to give Him my heart He changed me.
Before this transition I was rude, vulgar, selfish, and severely depressed, but thank God since that faithful night I spent with Him I was a changed person. My face beamed with joy and my actions, my appearance, and my vocabulary changed. My words were more heartfelt. Overnight my life completely changed. When I came back home I was so committed to my new found Savior that I remember making decided efforts to change. This time however, the changes in my life were not so others would notice the difference, or because of the pain in my life, but because GOD wants me to change. I said, “I am going to change for HIM, not for anyone, or for myself.” The question came to my mind. “What if my family and loved ones do not see a difference in my life?” My answer was “I am going to change because God wants me to, I am His child, and if they cannot see or recognize a difference in my life then they are going to miss out on something very special. But nevertheless, God wants this in my life and I’m going to obey.”
It didn’t take long after the changes took effect in my life, that immediately my family saw the difference. My relationship with my sister and my mother began to repair. I started to take care of my mother. My aunt’s heart began to soften towards me. I remember one of my aunts looked at me and said “Enoch, you are a different person I can see it clearly. Something happened, you’re not at all like you used to be. I’m glad.”
It is only by the grace of God that we can make a lasting change that affect others for good. By beholding Christ on the cross and his self-sacrificing love we will find the motivation to overcome our sinful habits. It is only the strength that comes from heaven that should motivate us to do what is right and apply these reforms in our lives. Obedience that springs forth from self-sacrificing love is the motivation of every true follower of Christ. When the terrors of death, the pains of bad habits, the suffering of others is not enough to motivate one to reform, “behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.” John 1:29