“One night, I remember, I asked God to please take my life. I couldn’t take my life because I was afraid of hell. But I also didn’t want to be here. I begged Him; I literally begged Him to take my life because I couldn’t live this life any longer. And my belief – my firm belief – is that really God did take my life. He really did, He took it.”
Refiloe Motsoeneng shares her testimony with us in this video. Read on for a lightly edited transcript.
The Things That Defined Me…
“I basically idolised my job and my career. You know… I’d always done really well at school and my career was just an extension of my academic life. And that’s the only thing that really defined me. So when I didn’t do so well, and I was struggling and it was really hard, I sank into a deep-seated depression. Anxiety, panic attacks; I was just really unhappy.
A friend of mine that I worked with invited me to church. I now understand it was a prosperity gospel Church – where if you tithed and you’re a really good person, Jesus loves you. He came and He died for you so that you can be successful and rich and do well in life. That was what Christianity was. And, for I think 8 years of my life, that’s what I thought was…. I thought I was Christian.
I tithed, I served, I did all manner of things that I thought amounted to Christianity. But I was still the same.
Doing Church Didn’t Work
I went to the Church religiously. I tithed, I served, I did all manner of things that I thought amounted to Christianity. But I was still the same. Severely depressed – I was in and out of hospital – taking very strong medication for the depression and anxiety. I just couldn’t get it together.
Eventually I left that Church because I wasn’t growing in any shape or form. I didn’t even know that there’s something called ‘the fruit of the Spirit‘ and was just sort of sinking into a very deep depression. I was deeply sinful. And so just left the Church because it was pointless to go there. And I didn’t want anything to do with the Church. Or God for that matter. I finally decided that I’m gonna kill myself. There’s no point in my life – I had no meaning in my life. And I resented God. I really just hated God.
I Resented God
Why? I didn’t understand why He would want me to stay on this world, and suffer, and go through everything that I was going through. Why would he not save me from it! I had done all these things and He’s supposed to actually give me the things that I’m asking for. Because I had done all the things that I was told I need to do. But it just wasn’t working out! So, I just thought He’s just a fad or really just didn’t love me. Essentially, I just thought He hated me and I hated Him. So, it was a mutually understandable kind of relationship.
Until one day a friend of mine told me how I needed to stop focusing on being here and being successful here. And being happy in this world. And stop listening to these preachers that I used to really love, that are basically prosperity gospel preachers, that never teach the gospel.
One day I listened to a short 16-minute video clip by Paul Washer and David Wilkinson. It was basically an exposition of the prosperity gospel and it was just mind blowing. And from that time, I started really considering what I thought about Jesus. What I thought about God.
Please God, Take My Life
But I had made the determination that I was going to die. Basically, everything was falling apart in my life. And one night, I remember I asked God to please take my life. I couldn’t take my life because I was afraid of hell. But I also didn’t want to be here. I begged Him. I literally begged Him to take my life because I couldn’t live this life any longer. And my belief – my firm belief – is that really God did take my life. He really did, He took it.
Death on the Cross
And we went to the cross together. I saw Him, and I heard the gospel one day. That it doesn’t matter what I do wrong, it won’t be able to make up for anything. I’ll never be able to stand before God on my own. I need somebody who was perfect. Because there’s only one person who has ever lived in this world, who was perfect. One person who met every standard of God; who met every law. But I understood that there was someone who came – and that someone was God through His son.
I’ll never be able to stand before God on my own. I need somebody who was perfect.
Jesus came and He died on the cross. He took all my sinfulness onto Himself and God punished Him. Christ experienced the wrath that I was meant to experience. And He died on the cross for my sin. He says if I believe in Him as my Lord and my Saviour He will be my advocate. He will stand before me in front of God. And through Him, I can enter heaven and be with God. And spend all eternity, on earth and in heaven. Nothing I can do can ever add; no works, no goodness, no tithing, no church attendance and serving – I can’t do anything to ever earn the right to be in front of God.
It’s All On Jesus, Not On Me
And God healed a lot of things in my life from just telling me the truth about just who He is. My biggest thing that’s happened is the spiritual healing that God provided me, you know? The riches that Jesus brought is the riches of His righteousness, of His glory. And not the riches of this world. You know? I’m happy to be a child of God. And I can say that with confidence because it’s on Jesus, it’s not on me.