When I read this verse, I couldn't help but be reminded of all the times I did terrible things, KNOWING they were wrong. I drank, I stole, I lied, I held grudges, I made fun of people, and I hurt the ones I loved the most. Why?
During my darkest days, I had completely given up on doing the right things. It always seemed to backfire. Every time I told the truth, I got in trouble. Every time I tried to be kind, I was misunderstood. So, I started living to please myself.
What began as "innocent" drinking, became complete physical and emotional dependency on alcohol.
What began as stealing one time to help pay rent, became stealing habitually to pay for everything.
What began as a white lie to protect myself, became a broken relationship and a devastated loved one.
What began as ignoring phone calls, became isolating myself from the world.
What began as laughter at the expense of others, became pure evil.
What began as pride, became crushing defeat and complete demoralization.
What I failed to realize in those days, was that I always had a crutch: Alcohol. It ruled my life, it was my safe place, it made me happy, it made me complete. Until it stopped working. My decisions became worse, my relationships became distant at best, and my life was a wreck. The most baffling part: I did it to myself. No one ever made me drink, no one ever made me steal, lie, or any of the other things I was doing. I persisted in rebellion, because I never stopped to consider that I was the problem.
I'm eternally grateful to have gone through those dark days of persistent rebellion, though. Because now I can see it. It hurts to think about, but it's good, because I don't have to live that way anymore.
Today, I have the opportunity to give back to the world, to be of service, to smile, to encourage, and to be the man God wants me to be.