Summary: Five things we can all avoid to keep our testimony for Jesus.
Five ways to destroy your testimony II Samuel 11:1-15, 27
I was born and raised in Glace Bay, N.S. My father was a coal miner and he was also the son of a coal miner and he was raised in a development of coal company houses in a very run down area of Glace Bay called Bridgeport Rows. (In other words, the houses were falling apart from age.) People once asked me how you got there and I told them to go to the end of the world and take a left. My mother’s parents on the other hand were from Prince Edward Island and they were altogether different. They had an ice packing plant on the island, a summer home and a construction company in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and another home they used as their winter getaway in Florida.
When I was about six years old my parents decided to move to Toronto and they stayed there until they split up a couple of years later. There were four of us children, two boys and two girls and we stayed with my mother until about three years later when the man she was living with didn’t want all four of us so she wrote to my grandmother in Cape Breton and said if she didn’t take the boys she’d put us in a home as they called it but what they meant was an orphanage. So, my brother and I headed back to Cape Breton and I stayed there until I finished school.
When I turned nineteen I had graduated from high school and decided to leave the island because the only jobs that were available were in the coal mines, so I got a train ticket and headed back to Toronto where I stayed with my mother for a couple of months and then drifted from one mediocre job to another.
I was at a party one night with a bunch of kids when one of them asked me if I wanted to buy some grass. Well, I didn’t know what he was talking about because the whole drug thing was new, and back then, it was like somebody was asking you if you wanted to buy a bag of wheat, so I just said, “If I want some grass I’ll just go out and pick my own.” And then he explained that he was talking about marijuana and not wanting to appear like an idiot I bought some for about five or ten dollars.
I not only enjoyed the grass but later on I tried hashish, and then LSD, psilocybin, opium, speed and even what someone said were pig tranquilizers and whatever was around. I moved into a place called Rochdale College which wasn’t actually a college but was more like an eighteen story drug warehouse where anything and everything was available. And I lived there selling and doing drugs for about two or three years. And believe it or not, I felt like I had achieved something in my life. I had a lot of friends and to a certain degree I was a respected member of the community even if it was a community of drug dealers.
Well, one night I went down to the third floor to one of the rooms that served as a kind of a home made liquor store to buy some wine or hard liquor and the guy said he didn’t have any but he gave me a beer and told me to go home and sleep it off because I had been doing drugs all day and I guess I was looking a little burnt out.
So, as I left there, I was walking down the hallway drinking my beer when something strange caught my attention. Somebody had their door painted and that was normal but on the door was a take off of the words of John Lennon’s song, “All we are saying is give peace a chance” but this one said “All we are saying is give Christ a chance.” Well, I was standing there shaking my head and saying, “what a loser” and I guess I was saying it out loud and I didn’t notice that the door was open about an inch and the guy inside could both see and hear me. He said, “Hey, hey, come on in, I want to talk to you.”
Well, I was kind of startled because I didn’t even notice him there and so I opened the door and said, “I’ll talk to you, as long as you don’t try to shove any of this Jesus stuff down my throat.” And he said, “O.K.” So, I went in and sat down and he poured me a cup of tea and then he said, “Do you know what you need, you need Jesus because He is the answer to your problems?” My first thought was, “Isn’t this the stuff I said I didn’t want to talk about?”