Doubts answered at the source

Damaged relationships revealed manager’s blindspot

Peter and Brenda Erskine
Peter and Brenda Erskine recommend Bible introductory courses to people searching for answers to the big questions

Peter Erskine only had one purpose as a managing partner of a professional engineering business: earn as much money as possible, no matter the cost.

"Looking back, I have realized that greed drove me to exploit my business partner and staff in pursuit of satisfying this objective," Peter openly admits now.

As the money came in, Peter thought this would give him personal satisfaction but he admits that his selfish attitude led to conflict and unhappiness within the business and his marriage.

Moving out of his family home was very distressing for his wife, young children and himself, Peter says. "But then," he adds, "I realized that I was missing something in my life."

Noticing that spirituality was listed in a friend's promotional brochure as part of a happy and balanced lifestyle, Peter responded to a local church's roadside notice for a 12-week introductory course about Christianity, but was skeptical due to unanswered questions since his childhood.

Although he was open to the Bible's teachings due to Sunday school and religious instruction classes, Peter disliked the idea that Jesus Christ was the only way to God, even though Jesus himself had said so.

Yet he knew other things clearly, including the fact that he was sinful and had broken most of the Bible's Ten Commandments – including lying, stealing, misuse of God's name, placing other priorities above God, which the Bible calls idolatry.

As he attended the course each week, Peter began to understand that because Jesus was God, and the only sinless man to ever walk the earth, He was the only perfect person who could bare the punishment for sin on the cross.

He realized no other faith could adequately account for the problem of sin and no other man could have done what Jesus did.

"This was no quick and easy journey, as I still carried many doubts and questions, but I enjoyed the course so much that I volunteered to help in two further courses," he says.

When it had finished, Peter and his wife joined a small Christian home group where they continue to study the Bible and discuss their questions with others.

Over time it dawned on him that there were some things he would never understand, however God wanted Peter to just trust in Him.

As Hebrews chapter 11 outlined in the Bible, faithful men like Abraham, Noah, Joseph and Moses were greatly commended by God because of their faith in Him.

"It occurred to me that God had given me the gift of faith, something that allowed me to have contentment which I had not experience before," Peter says.

A sense of peace settled over Peter as he realized that it was not good deeds that assured him of eternal life but instead a simple faith in Jesus.

"Those doubts and question were no longer of importance," Peter says, "I realized that real joy comes from surrendering our lives to God and trusting in Him to do for us, the things we cannot do for ourselves."

Peter prayed for forgiveness for his unbelief and sins and knew that his faith in God would allow the Holy Spirit to come into his life.

"I have become more content within myself knowing that I am saved through faith and that, although God does not stop me sinning, His Holy Spirit acts as my conscience to guide me in what I think and do," he explains.

"The Holy Spirit makes me aware of my sinful behavior which encourages me to turn to Jesus when I am tempted to do wrong things."

Money was no longer Peter's main mission when he committed his life to Jesus and he says he truly found the balanced and happy life he was searching for when he found Jesus.

With that Peter concludes, "I would encourage everyone to have faith in Jesus and allow Him to take away all those doubts and questions that stop us from developing a strong relationship with God."

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