One morning, while in my early teens, I woke up in a panic. My heart was beating fast and I was sweating and afraid. I had just had a dream that I had smoked a cigarette.
Not a pack. Just one cigarette. And I was afraid of what it had done to my body. I had heard somewhere that every cigarette you consume takes days off your life. I was afraid that I would become addicted!
I was also afraid of what my parents would do if they found out. I stayed in bed frightened until I realized that it was only a dream, and it had never happened, so my life was not in any danger.
Why was I so afraid? Could it be that my parents brainwashed me against cigarettes or drugs? Could it be the propaganda about the dangers of smoking? Could it be based on real concrete information about smoking and a genuine fear to avoid it at all costs?
I certainly can’t remember a single session of brainwashing from my parents. I can’t even recount any speech on not smoking from them. So I think we can safely rule out that source for brainwashing. Maybe it is media hype. Maybe there’s some truth in the hype. Maybe I was just a girl with a heightened fear of evil!
But I can tell you that, til today, I have never smoked a single cigarette. Despite peer pressure. Despite observing my school mates casually smoking and being excluded from their cool group. I determined in my heart at a young age that it was not a thing I wanted to do.
Maybe it had something to do with God. Maybe it didn’t.
But you know, I am sick of people claiming that I only believe in God, at my grown age, because I was brainwashed as a child. That is certainly not the case.
God puts the fear of Him in the hearts of His children – even at a young age. He sets them apart for Himself. And no education nor wisdom can turn their hearts away from Him. If you are His, you will certainly feel His pull to believe, to stir away from evil and to do right.
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