I grew up in a very traditional Christian home. Church was something we did on a daily basis: Sunday school, Sunday morning worship, Sunday night service, Bible band on Tuesday, Thursday night church, musicals on Fridays and Saturdays, and then church again on Sunday. The whole month of February was always the “month of revival.” We worshipped God all the time. Even when we’d play sports, once the game was over we’d be back at church that same night.
I was very sheltered; I didn’t know anything other than church. Going off to college was the first time I was on my own. Even though I did my own thing, I still went to church every Sunday, as well as mid-week services. I’d be in the church with my hands lifted up, but I wasn’t really living the life Christ was calling me to. One night I showed up to church a little late and sat in the back of my church down in Dallas. That night, my pastor was preaching one of those fire-and-brimstone, damnation messages and I felt like he was speaking directly to me. He was calling us to repent of our ways and turn to follow Jesus. He talked about seeking Christ and surrendering to Him but the first step was one of repentance.
The Bible warns us against being lukewarm (Revelation 3:14-16), and if you are, He will spew you out. During my college years I tried to be in the middle; I was living a double-minded life but nobody knew it. I was still showing up every day for FCA and all the Christian-based events on campus. But nobody really knew my life — what I was doing — except myself and the females I was sleeping with. I didn’t drink, I didn’t party, I didn’t go to the club — that just wasn’t my life. But on Thursday night when everyone would go out to party, I would sneak out and go across the way to the other dorm and still be back by the time the guys were back from partying.
But God knew. It got to a point where I was just fed up; I was tired of faking it. I had to make a decision, and I made the decision to follow Christ. I knew what I was supposed to do and how I was supposed to live. I knew what it meant to have a relationship with Christ. I knew the Way, I just didn’t want to execute it. I wanted to do my own thing.
Because of the life I lived over those few years, I shouldn’t be here today. I look at where I am today and know without a shadow of a doubt that I should not be here. I shouldn’t have this platform or be happily married with two kids because of the life I was living. But God’s grace.
I’m not proud of the way I lived. But it gives me a lot more appreciation for how good God has been to me. This life is ongoing, it’s not over. It’s a fight with the enemy and it’s a fight with my flesh, and I need to fight against temptation on a consistent basis. But God’s power and grace is greater than any battle I have faced or will face in the future.
— Kelvin Beachum, New York Jets offensive tackle
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