I walked into a room and several elderly slightly balding men were sitting in a semicircle. They looked so similar that they could have been brothers and even wore identical style eyeglasses. There was one metal folding chair facing them and that would be mine. These guys were psychiatrists and they were examining me for a military court martial prior to my trial.
They asked me all kinds of questions for a couple of hours. Every time I answered each of them would frown and pause to make a note on their clipboards. Finally the lead doctor smiled and told me that they were finished and I was returned to the stockade.
In a couple of days I was summoned back to the hospital and this time only the lead doctor was present and we met in his office. He told me that they had diagnosed me as a sociopath. I didn’t know what that was and he explained that it usually becomes evident early in childhood, often beginning with animal cruelty and includes a pervasive pattern of disregard for others that increases in severity as one grows older; it exhibits itself in an aggressive and often violent nature; a total lack of conscience including no remorse for having hurt someone; incapable of loving anyone else; repeatedly performing unlawful acts; conning others for personal profit or pleasure; and a reckless disregard for safety of self or others. He finished by telling me that most serial killers are sociopaths.
I asked what could be done about it and he sorrowfully replied that it was “incurable” and there were no medications available with which to treat it. He then told me that he was recommending that I be discharged from the military.
That was over forty some odd years ago and I’m happy to report that those old boys were wrong. What was impossible for modern medicine and diagnosed as being “incurable” by accomplished, highly educated doctors was not too big of a chore for our awesome God and Great Physician. I’m no longer a paranoid speed freak considered armed and dangerous by the police; now I’m just “papaw” and my seven grandkids love to chase me, wrestle on the bed, and tousle my hair
I spoke at a prayer breakfast recently and afterwards one man pulled me aside and confided that his son was “hopelessly” addicted to drugs. No more than five minutes elapsed and another whispered the exact same thing about his nephew and alcoholism. I told them both and I tell you this morning, don’t ever lose hope on anyone. When God gets involved, there is no such thing as being hopeless. Those boys just need God in their lives and if He goes there, they will be fine.
My heart was as hard as stone and at one point I admit, I didn’t have a conscience. I was bitter; and I was full of violent hatred for just about everybody and everything and I wanted to lash out at the world that I hated. I tried to drown my feelings with alcohol, mask them with drugs, find relief in a bedroom, or viciously fight back with unbridled violence, but nothing helped until I met Jesus Christ.
If you know someone who is “hopeless”, find a way to introduce them to Jesus Christ. It likely won’t be easy to get past the hardened bitterness, but when and if they allow Him into their lives, change will occur. Mine is not some novel that is fiction designed as entertainment. It is a true story and is as real as it gets. I can guarantee there aren’t many people stalking this earth that are in worse shape than I was at one point in my life. My contention is that if Jesus could transform my life, He can transform anyone’s life.
God offers hope! He offers what we all, (including sociopaths), desire the most: peace, joy, and love. Don’t give up hope on any situation that you face. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. A cure has been found . . .
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
March 4, 2015 – Click here to listen