“Draw Close to God, and He Will Draw Close to You”
Before and After—How the Bible Changed This Man
MUSIC was Rolf-Michael’s life. Drugs were his obsession. As a youth in Germany, he consumed large quantities of alcohol and freely used LSD, cocaine, hashish, and other mind-altering substances.
While trying to smuggle drugs into an African country, Rolf-Michael was arrested and spent 13 months in prison. That prison term gave him time to think about the real purpose of life.
Rolf-Michael and his wife, Ursula, desperately looked for meaning in life and searched for the truth. Despite negative experiences with so-called Christian churches, they had a strong desire to get to know God. But they had questions and received no satisfying answers from various religious groups. Furthermore, these religions provided no powerful motive to make them change their lives.
Rolf-Michael and Ursula eventually came in contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses. After starting to study the Bible, Rolf-Michael was deeply moved by the admonition: “Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.” (James 4:8) He was determined to ‘put away the old personality which conformed to his former course of conduct and put on the new personality, created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty.’—Ephesians 4:22-24.
How could Rolf-Michael put on the new personality? He was shown from the Bible that “through accurate knowledge” an individual’s personality can be “made new according to the image of the One who created it,” that is, Jehovah God.—Colossians 3:9-11.
As he took in accurate knowledge, Rolf-Michael sought to bring his life into harmony with the principles of God’s Word. (John 17:3) It was difficult to break free from drugs, but Rolf-Michael saw the value of approaching Jehovah in prayer and experiencing his help. (1 John 5:14, 15) Further help resulted from close association with those who were already Jehovah’s Witnesses, working hard to do God’s will.
Knowledge that the world is passing away and that those doing God’s will are to remain forever also helped Rolf-Michael. It enabled him to choose, not the short-term love of the world, but the eternal blessing of a close relationship with the loving God, Jehovah. (1 John 2:15-17) Rolf-Michael was deeply touched by the words of Proverbs 27:11: “Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, that I may make a reply to him that is taunting me.” He appreciatively observes: “This verse shows the depth of Jehovah’s love, since he gives humans the chance to make his heart rejoice.”
Like Rolf-Michael, his wife, and their three children, hundreds of thousands have benefited by following Bible principles. Such individuals can be found in congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world. Regrettably, in some countries the Witnesses are falsely accused of being a dangerous sect that breaks up families. Rolf-Michael’s experience proves otherwise.—Hebrews 4:12.
Rolf-Michael says that Matthew 6:33, which exhorts us to give priority to spiritual pursuits, is his family’s “compass,” pointing them in the right direction. He and his family are deeply grateful to Jehovah for the happy family life they enjoy as Christians. They share the sentiments of the psalmist who sang: “What shall I repay to Jehovah for all his benefits to me?”—Psalm 116:12.
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God gives humans the chance to make his heart rejoice
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Bible Principles at Work
Among the Bible principles that have motivated many to abandon deadly addictions are the following:
“O you lovers of Jehovah, hate what is bad.” (Psalm 97:10) After being convinced of the badness of death-dealing practices and developing genuine hatred for them, a person finds it easier to do what pleases God.
“He that is walking with wise persons will become wise, but he that is having dealings with the stupid ones will fare badly.” (Proverbs 13:20) To say no to drugs and other addictive substances, a person needs to choose his associates carefully. Cultivating the friendship of Christians who will support his resolve is truly beneficial.
“Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6, 7) Such peace of heart and mind is unmatched by anything else. And prayerful reliance on God helps one to deal with life’s problems without resorting to addictive drugs.