Finding the Good Life in God's Design
BreakPoint with Charles Colson
How do you find the good life? Our culture gives us one
answer: Do what feels right. Our own desires should have the last word;
only by indulging them can we achieve true happiness. It may not always
be stated that openly, but that's the essential message being fed to us
from the time we're old enough to understand.
The problem is that most people living that way are completely
miserable. Randy Thomas is a good example. I tell Randy's story in my
new book, The Good Life.
Randy was thirteen when he learned the term homosexual and
what it meant. In this, he thought he'd finally found his true identity.
Dominated by an abusive stepfather, Randy had always longed for male
attention. In high school, he began a double life, secretly visiting gay bars
nearly every night and indulging in sex, drugs, and alcohol.
Even at that age, Randy could discern certain patterns among his
new friends. Older men craved the youth of their sexual partners;
younger ones longed for older authority figures. Old and young alike, he
observed, were really attracted to extensions of themselves. But while
he recognized this as narcissism, Randy hoped to find a relationship that
would transcend it-someone he could truly love and grow old with.
Instead, he found only transient sexual encounters and his mother's
rejection when she discovered his secret life.
For years Randy drifted from relationship to relationship, living
with friends and spending almost everything he had on partying. Then a
friend's invitation to a Bible study led to the turning point in Randy's life.
It was not only the first time he had heard God described as a loving
Father, it was also the first time he had seen so many couples who truly
complemented each other and were contented together. The husbands
and wives Randy observed didn't have the desperation he had seen in
his gay friends. They were focused on giving themselves to each other
and to their children, rather than constantly seeking self-gratification.
Over time, Randy began to understand what healthy relationships
looked like. And that experience was the key to Randy's decision to
receive Christ in his life. He eventually left behind his addiction to alcohol
and drugs and underwent counseling and reparative therapy.
Today, Randy no longer identifies himself as a gay man, and he's
started to find himself attracted to women. Despite the occasional
troubling moment of same-sex attraction (a common experience for
those recovering from any deeply ingrained disorder-ask any alcoholic),
Randy has found his life and relationships transformed.
People like Randy, who recover from homosexuality, aren't
supposed to exist-or, if they do, we shouldn't celebrate them. Admittedly,
his story isn't politically correct, and even repeating his observations on
the gay lifestyle is enough to get anybody in trouble. The "do what feels
right" myth is so pervasive and so powerful. But Randy's story needs to
be told, because it so clearly illustrates just how false that myth is and
what happens when our behavior runs up against the way we are
designed: It just can't work. You see, only through following
the design of the created order, what we Christians
know to be God's plan, can we truly find the good life.
THE GOOD LIFE!
Copyright © 2002 Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with
permission. "BreakPoint with Chuck Colson" is a radio ministry of
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