From 1932 until his death in 1993, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale served as the pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. He is probably best known for his best-selling book “The Power of Positive Thinking” and the little inspirational magazine “Guideposts” that he co-published with his wife, Ruth.
One day a man made an appointment with Dr. Peale at his church to come and discuss his problems. After exchanging greetings, this man poured out a mass of negative and unhappy thoughts and fulminated bitterly on how “absolutely lousy everything and everybody is.” He said he had made the appointment to get Dr. Peale’s advice, but instead of giving him a chance to do any advising he went into a tirade against the church -- religion in general and preachers in particular.
Dr. Peale responded, “How come you take the time to come and talk with me if you dislike preachers so much?” “Oh, you are different,” the man replied. “You’re not religious; you are a positive thinker. And let me tell you, I’m not going to have anyone telling me that I need God. So please tell me what I need to get some meaning out of this no-account life.”
“God,” Dr. Peale said. “What’s that you say?” the man sputtered. “God,” he repeated. “You need God, for only He can straighten out the mess in your mind. Only God can give you healing and peace and joy, but He can do all that and more, that’s for sure.” Again, Dr. Peale repeated, “You need God.”
The man glared at him and, jumping to his feet, said, “So, you are just like all the rest — just a God talker! I thought you were a better, intelligent, and sophisticated man, same as I am.” Dr. Peale responded, “I guess you don’t know what the word sophistication means. It means to know your way around in the world. Obviously, you don’t know your way around very well, for you are mixed up, hurt and unhappy. So once again I say you need God.” At this point, Dr. Peale said, “My visitor apparently was angry with me but perhaps even more so with himself.”
“God, God — always God,” the man muttered. Growling a short good-bye, he stomped out into the late afternoon winter darkness. An hour later, just as Dr. Peale was about to leave his office, his secretary called him on the intercom and said, “That man is back, and he looks wild and says he has just got to see you.” Dr. Peale said, “Send him in. The man came rushing in and, indeed, he was rather wild-eyed and bewildered. “For God’s sake,” he exclaimed, “What has happened to me? Am I going nutty? Help me, Dr. Peale, please help me!”
To make a long story short, the man broke down and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ right there in his office, and went on to live a productive life as a changed man. This true story was taken from a fantastic book titled, “The Positive Power of Jesus Christ.” It contains countless stories just like this of wayward individuals who found a new life because they accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. From a personal standpoint, in a day and time when people of faith are under attack, I can tell you that I have lived life both ways, without Jesus and with Jesus, and there is no comparison.
The book I have told you about was written at the suggestion of Dr. Peale’s publisher to emphasize the spiritual side of life, and not just positive thinking, attitude and motivation. If you feel the need, pick up a copy, as it most definitely has the power to change your life for the better and give you a true sense of peace, joy and contentment. It is available from www.amazon.com.