Who Was It That Changed Me – A Young Addict? (I)

By Mary, United States

I once got addicted to computer games and couldn’t get out of it. Now, I will never indulge myself because of games. It was God who changed me, a young addict.

When I first arrived in America, I didn’t know the language and had few friends, feeling that my life was very long and lonely. In order to kill time, I started playing games with my classmates. Gradually, in the game, I found a feeling of stimulation that I had never had. And from then on, I incorrigibly got addicted to games.

Every day after I got home, in order to avoid being found by my family, I would say to my aunt: “I’m going to rest, please don’t bother me!” After speaking these words, I would rush to my room. Before I put down my schoolbag, I was impatient to turn on the computer and log on to my game account, starting the happiest time in a day. Sometimes, when I was having a blast, my family called me to dinner, but I would just pretend not to have heard. Not until I finished a round did I go out and hurriedly scratch a meal. And then I would rush back to my room and continue the next round. … When I raised my head again, it had been two or three o’clock in the morning. Wholly exhausted, I fell asleep immediately.

Since I indulged in games, the academic grades were not important to me. When I first arrived in America, because of my poor command of language, I listened carefully to the teacher in the class, afraid that I would fall behind. But later on I wouldn’t do that: In the class, while the teacher wasn’t looking, I would secretly take out my cellphone to play games. Sometimes, as the teacher looked closely, I had to stupidly sit there listening; however, the teacher’s voice was like a lullaby, and soon I unknowingly slumped over the desk and fell asleep. During the break, upon hearing that my classmates chatted about the games they were playing, I would become excited and instantly come up and talk eloquently. In order to upgrade my game, I often asked my family for money to throw it into this bottomless pit. As the level of the game I played increased, my classmates saw me make great progress in skills, so they all looked at me with new eyes. As long as they played games, they would take me with them. For the moment, I became “a hot cake” in their eyes. With the promotion of my status, I often couldn’t help feeling proud in my heart: I never thought I could have my days. Not only that, I could often enjoy the joy of victory by frequently defeating others with advanced gear in the games. That kind of feeling was very exciting. I couldn’t help thinking: If only the life could be a virtual game!

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My family saw I indulged in games every day and all tried to persuade me to spend less time playing games, but I couldn’t take in one word. For this, my aunt tried playing pain card: As long as she saw me, she would intentionally sigh and say, “I had thought that after you came to America, I could have someone to speak to, but now you play games every day and never say superfluous words to me.” Every time I heard my aunt say so, my heart would have a little guilt. But when I immersed myself in the world of games again, I soon put my aunt’s words to the back of mind. Afterward, my aunt told my mom, who was in mainland China, about my being addicted to online games. After knowing that, my mom was worried about me. Every time when she called me, she would try to persuade me to give up playing games and say it was a harmful thing. At her words, I would say impatiently: “I’m old enough. How could you still manage me? You don’t know the benefit I can gain from playing games. You know, I don’t go to bars, smoke, or drink; my life in America is so boring. If you don’t even allow me to play games, then what else shall I do?” Mom saw I didn’t listen, so she urged me to read more of God’s word when I had free time. I agreed on my lips, but in my heart I was thinking how to upgrade my games. Once, when I was playing games, I was interrupted by a call from my mom and, as a result, my victory at hand was won by others. I was very angry and directly hung up on my mom.

Because I often stayed up playing games, my health wasn’t as good as before. Sometimes, in the day time I was in a trance and was lethargic. One time, I played games till deep into the night and when I went to the bathroom, I suddenly fainted on the floor because of my exhausted body. I clearly remembered that at the very instant before I fainted, I called on God to save me. But after I woke up, I still didn’t know to repent. I continued to immerse myself in the excitement of games every day. Because of staying up late, my face was covered with pimples. My family told me that it was caused by my irregular schedule. Everyone wants to be good-looking, including me. So, in order to restore my good face, I secretly determined to change my irregular schedule. Just when I was about to change it, I was attracted by the new activities introduced in the game. Should I protect my face or continue playing games? I thought over and over, and finally I decided to save my face through outside help so that I could play games as well as becoming beautiful. Therefore, I bought a lot of expensive skin-care products and tried to improve my facial condition, but in the end, it was useless. … “Let it go! Just focus on playing games. When I am no longer in my adolescence, the pimples will naturally disappear.” I comforted myself.

Because of indulging in games, I had no energy to read God’s word and was further and further away from God. However, God didn’t depart from me. At this time, my elder sister came to my side. She saw that I just shut myself in the room to play games after I came home every day, and that I had an irregular schedule, so she tried to persuade me to spend less time playing games and read more of God’s word in my free time. I just hummed and hawed to brush her off. One day, my sister came to my room and read several passages of God’s word for me, “The life of modern man: Going to Internet cafes and playing games on computers. Most people are like this. What kinds of things do computer games mostly have in them? There are many violent things and these games are the world of devils. For most, when they play these games for a long time, they can’t do any real work anymore—they no longer want to go to school, or keep learning, or think of their futures, much less do they think of their life. What things now constitute the majority of young people’s thoughts and souls? Eating, drinking, and playing games. Everything they say, the things they talk about, and the things they think of in their hearts are all inhuman. One cannot use the words ‘dirty’ or ‘evil’ to describe the things they think about; so many of them are inhuman. If you talk to them about a matter of normal humanity or talk about a topic concerning normal humanity with them, they can’t bear to hear about it, they’re not interested, they’re not willing to hear it, and as soon as they hear it they roll their eyes and take unkindly to it. They don’t share a common language or share common topics with normal mankind, but on the contrary they can talk with other people like themselves. What are the topics they discuss? (The topics they discuss are games, eating, drinking and enjoying themselves. Nothing else.) This describes most of their topics. Tell Me, those who always discuss these topics and whose hearts are filled with these things, what future prospects do they have? Do they have any future prospects? What will their futures be like? (These people will go to waste!)” “The devil Satan does these things in order to lure people, to cause them to degenerate. For those who live in virtual worlds, they have no interest whatsoever in anything to do with the life of normal humanity; they are not in the mood to work or study. They are only concerned about going to virtual worlds, as though they are being enticed by something.” “This evil world uses all manner of ways to attract those who have not seen through the world, who have not seen through the evil trends of mankind. It specially lures these people. If you cannot often come before God, if your heart and your brain are often blank, then you will be in danger.

My sister fellowshiped to me, “You see how clearly God’s word says: Game is a way that Satan entices and corrupts us. Satan just uses games to sap our will little by little, and finally lets us have no interest in anything else. When our mind is completely occupied by games, we are also gradually captured by Satan in this way.” Right! Aren’t these words of God describing me? Since I got addicted to games, my schedule became more and more abnormal: I slept in the daytime and played games at night, and my health also became worse and worse. In addition, I had less and less interest in studying; I had more and more difficulties in communicating with my family, always feeling that they were interfering with my freedom through persuading me to spend less time playing games. Every day, I just immersed myself in games that are filled with fighting and killing, enjoyed the sense of success and others’ regard and adoration that games brought me, and had less and less interest in the real life. Sometimes, I also thought that this kind of life was abnormal. But my heart seemed to be out of my control and always wanted to play games. Just as God’s word says, “As though they are being enticed by something.” It seems that game is really a way of Satan enticing and corrupting us. No wonder my mom and sister all persuaded me not to play games. When I thought of this, I was somewhat awakened. I thought of the cases, which were reported many times in the news, that teenagers suddenly died after playing games in Internet cafes throughout several days and nights. I also thought of the thing that I fainted because of staying up to play games in the previous period. I couldn’t help feeling afraid somewhat, thinking: No. Games are like drugs. Once I sink into it, I will never get out. I must drop it. Games are really too harmful; I can’t play anymore.

To Be Continued …

Part Two: Who Was It That Changed Me – A Young Addict? (II)

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