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Damon Bethel

The Biggest Sinner Makes the Best Servant

Why are the cops always picking on me? Once again I found myself in the back of the squad car arrested for DUI. I tried earlier to seek help at The Salvation Army, but the officer could not help me. I watched as I became extremely resentful towards him and the corps. In my sickness, I would go to the corps every Sunday, not to praise God, but to criticize the Captain’s performance. I had my tithe, and I would subtract from that amount every time I saw something I didn’t like. Every Sunday the Lord got one dollar, and my demons got the rest.

My life was spiraling out of control. I tried to pray to God, but nothing was happening. It was like he was saying, “Damon, how come I only hear from you when you need something?” My father suggested that I go to the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center, where I could get help with my addiction and work on my relationship with God. While I was at the ARC, my counselor had me do a Bible study, in which I would identify with characters and recognize their mistakes.

One night I decided to read the story of Hosea. As I read the story, I couldn’t believe that Hosea would keep taking back his unfaithful spouse. How could someone love so unconditionally? When Hosea complained to God about how he was being treated, God replied by saying, “now you know how I feel.” At that moment, I realized that I was Gomer. As I cried, I asked God to forgive me, and to come back into my life. Since that day, Jesus has been a real presence in my life. I graduated from the ARC, and was accepted into the School for Officers Training, where I am presently a cadet. If God can use me, He can use anybody! It’s true what the Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)