As a youth, I was known for pushing boundaries for attention, but never quite far enough to get in any real trouble. I deceived myself into believing that as long as I wasn't too bad, I was going to be fine. Meanwhile, neither the weekly church rituals, nor the Scout meetings I attended, convicted me to take true responsibility to stop these bad behaviors.
I joined the Navy after high school. Cursing and lust were already a part of my life at that point, but they sank to a new level of depravity. Next, I began smoking, heavy drinking, and overeating, as these were accepted and encouraged behavior. I received praise and felt pride in surpassing others in these extremes. Being the biggest drunk was ‘fun’ –or so I thought.
Later, I brought these sins into marriage. After 3 years of marital turmoil, largely due to my own sins, my wife, Jennifer, took a Weigh Down Class. This had a positive impact on her. We began to seek God in other denominations and classes, but none had a greater impact on me personally than when Jennifer later took a Weigh Down Advanced Class in 2003.
I began to listen to the lessons at home. The scriptures Gwen shared I had either never heard, or I had previously heard them read out of context. Until that point, it was a completely foreign concept to me that I could _stop_ over drinking, smoking, lusting, and cursing. Weigh Down taught me the “how to” and opened my eyes to the biblical need to stop this behavior.
Thankfully, I was cut to the heart when faced with the fact that my sins were detestable to God, and I was gripped with a holy fear to change. Repentance was quick- I have not been drunk nor have I smoked since joining Remnant Fellowship in 2003. Occasionally, I enjoy half of a glass of beer or other small drink as God leads, but never to excess. The freedom and peace from this has been sweet. I have more time to spend with my family, more energy (from losing 60 pounds), and I can think clearly and purely. Refreshing.
I praise God for the rescue from this, and the peace that comes from it. Through various Weigh Down Classes and Remnant Fellowship worship services, God continues to show me more areas to refine and improve, out of love for Him. Through this teaching, I’m learning what it means to walk as Jesus walked, and that being saved by grace- means saying “No” to sin.
To learn how you can be set free from addictions permanently like Tom, watch You Can Overcome – Overcome Tobacco Addictions