Derek W.

Derek W.

from MO
Story #512
“I hate people.”

I often said it. I was half-joking, but part of me was serious. Sometimes I really behaved like I hated people. I made fun of people who talked differently and who thought differently and who were just plain different. I really didn’t like being around many people, and, therefore, I spent a lot of time alone.

When I got married and had children, I did my best to love my family. I tried to be the best husband and father I could be. But deep down I was still the same selfish person.

I really wanted to be “good.” I thought that if I was overly nice and always smiling and just went with the flow, I might be able to be a Christian. I thought being a Christian was about giving up stuff, too: cussing, drinking alcohol, all the bad habits. When I failed miserably at being good, I felt like I couldn’t be a Christian. I realized that I couldn’t be good enough and that I sometimes still did the bad things that I wasn’t supposed to do.

Then one day a friend introduced me to Jesus. I’d heard about Jesus before. And I’d heard, and even read, some of the stories from the Bible. But my friend explained who Jesus was in a way that I’d never heard before. He told me that Jesus had forgiven me. He told me that if I chose to follow Jesus, I’d have a joy that was better than any temporary happiness that I might otherwise have felt without Him. Over the next few months, my friend and I had a lot of good conversations. My friend didn’t pretend that he knew all the answers to life’s questions, but he told me that the answers were in the Bible and he searched out answers for me. He also showed me how to find my own answers in the Bible and not to depend solely on him.

Once I decided to follow Jesus, I’d like to say that I did a complete 180-degree turn from Day 1. I’ve heard stories like that from other people. But that’s not my story. For a while, I was upset and confused that that didn’t happen to me. I was frustrated because I was still doing some of the bad things and not doing enough of the good things. But this time was different. Even when I sometimes wandered off the path, I knew I was on the right track because I was following Jesus.

Over the years, Jesus has consistently revealed my problems to me, and He has taught me how to overcome those problems and replace them with something good. I don’t have the power to make those changes myself, just like I didn’t before I decided to follow Jesus. But as I grow in my relationship with Him, Jesus gives me His power to overcome.

You have the ability to overcome your problems, too. You just need to choose to follow Jesus.

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