A Changed Life
Story by: Scotty Gray
It was a “typical” Sunday in the early 90s on which a young lady approached me after service – I was in my early 30s, she in her late 20s. She tapped me on the shoulder and, with a look of appreciation, said, “I know you – you changed my life!” Now, one of the ways God has blessed me, is to place in my heart an understanding that if “I” changed anyone’s life, it was actually Him doing the changing. Thus, I responded to that effect.
Go back about ten years, when I was involved in one of the Catholic Church’s greatest creations: TEC, or Teens Encounter Christ. TEC was created to provide weekend retreats for teenagers (and adults), through which they could deepen their relationship with God through speakers, fellowship and a hands on experience with the Bible.
As one of the “Main Team” members on the particular retreat which the young lady attended, I was chosen to speak about intimate relationships (being the fount of wisdom that any 27 year old could be).
What I explained was that God has made certain “steps” for us to follow in relationships leading to marriage. If you were to give each step a number, it might go something like this: 1 – first meeting, 2 – casual conversation, 3 – exchanging of information leading to further conversations, 4 – a first date, 5 and 6 – relationship-building experiences (travelling, meeting families and friends, etc.), 7 – engagement, 8 – more relationship deepening experiences together, 9 – marriage, 10 – sexual intimacy, 11…
The problem is that now, more than ever in our country’s history, we tend to fail in basic math. Our progression often looks more like: 1, 2, 10, 2, 3, 10, 3, 4, 10, 5, 6, 10, 5, 7, etc. Often times, this disjointed timeline leads to a complete failure of the relationship, even after #9.
Back to that “typical” Sunday and my actual point; as we grow in our relationship with God, we are allowed opportunities by Him to “speak into other’s lives,” sharing our experiences and the wisdom(s) that God has imparted to us. It is in these times that we often, without our knowledge, “change someone’s life.” She told me it changed her view on sexual relations and where they belong in our life's “timeline.” In almost every case, we will never hear those words. This can be a good thing, as, if heard too often it can lead to a sense of self-importance and arrogance; thinking we really did the life changing, rather than understanding that it was God, allowing us to be His instrument. On the other hand, it can be good to find, once in a while, that we were God’s instrument – used by Him for the benefit of others.
So, keep learning through prayer, study of God’s word, attending a church which teaches the WHOLE truth and humbly sharing with others what God is teaching you. I’m sure that one day you will be shown what impact your testimony has had…and, if you’d like to get a taste of that idea, take a listen to the classic Ray Bolz song, “Thank You.”
(Editor’s note: Please, don’t pass up this song and video.)
P.S. Scotty Gray has been a DJ at a Christian Radio Station, for the past 26 years. He is cohost of the Q Breakfast Club on Christian Truth Radio®, Q 90 FM in Green Bay WI. He is also my real-life brother and my Brother-in-Christ too. How cool is that?!?
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