Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson recently got a chance to share the story of the most powerful moment in his life that shifted his destiny and inspired him to surrender his life to God.
Carson overcame a childhood filled with intense poverty and eventually went on to become one of the most famous neurosurgeons in the world.
Carson has long been open about his deep faith in God, routinely showcasing his calm and kind demeanor as he navigates the political landscape and shares his past struggles and victories.Advertisement - story continues below
But the man that many now know as a faithful and compassionate leader wasn’t always so calm and collected, as he revealed in an interview with PureFlix.com’s “Pure Talk” that a potentially disastrous decision he made as a teenager could have ruined his life.
“When I was 14 … I had a pretty violent temper,” Carson said. “I would go after people with sticks and baseball bats and hammers and rocks, and when I was 14 … I got so angry I tried to stab another youngster.”Trending:
“The knife struck with such force it broke and he fled, but I was actually more terrified than he was because I realized I was trying to kill somebody,” Carson said, noting that he was a straight-A student at the time, but simply couldn’t control his anger.
After the incident, Carson fled to his home where he hid in the bathroom and reflected on what had just happened.
“I just shut myself up in the bathroom and I started thinking … ‘I’ll never become a doctor with a temper like this. I’ll end up in jail, reform school or the grave.’ And I just fell on my knees and I said, ‘Lord, you’ve got to help me. I can’t do this. [There’s just] no way I’m going to be successful unless you change me.’”
Carson stated that he then picked up a Bible and started reading it, noting that some of the portions of Scripture he read seemed to speak to him.
“There were all these verses about fools that seemed like they were all written about me,” he quipped. “Then there are all these verses about anger too, like Proverbs 19:19 — ‘there’s no point getting angry men out of trouble because you’re just going to have to do it again’ — or Proverbs 16:32.”
Carson spent the next three hours in the bathroom reading, praying, and thinking deeply about his life — heavy stuff for a 14-year-old kid — before it finally sunk in that explosive, uncontrolled anger was not a sign of strength, but weakness. What it meant, ultimately, was that you could be controlled and manipulated by situations and other people.
Having surrendered his life to God, that was the last outburst Carson ever experienced, something he gives full credit to the Lord for.
“When God changes you, he doesn’t just do a paint job,” Carson said. “He does it from the inside.”
Isn’t that a refreshing story? We need to be reminded that God is still hard at work in our world, changing people’s hearts and giving them a renewed spirit everywhere the gospel is preached.