all or nothingSometimes, we extremists are criticized for lack of moderation. We throw ourselves into most things we do that we want to do. When I was a problem and addicted alcoholic, I drank to excess on every occasion. And, once I started the process of binge or session, the end was I often passed out, ended up in jail or in some other kind of problem of consequence.

That personality trait can be devastating in most cases. I tend to overindulge in coffee, food, and any other kind of revelry. I have recognized this defect in my character and since I became a Christian and learned about prayer and its power, I have prayed consistently for moderation in my life. I have recognized that this characteristic is necessary to lead a regular life in this world. I have learned that my all or nothing extreme mindset personality does not fit in. It is a pathway to moral, physical and emotional destruction.

Been there, done that.

In thirty years of observing at many kinds of moral extremists, (there are probably only bad moral extremists as you really can’t be too good morally) I have seen many die, go to prison, go insane (or at least go to reside in mental institutions) but also sober up, change their ways, go the straight and narrow or otherwise totally change the course of their lives. The same trait prevails; the same type of personality does a one eighty and heads in the exact opposite direction. The bad becomes good, the negative becomes positive and a new person or new personality emerges. We laud this type of extreme and applaud how good this person is doing since he turned his life around.

Somehow, I believe God likes this type of personality. He said through Paul that it is okay if we are fools for Christ. You can bet I grabbed on to that verse as a new Christian praying for moderation for it gave me license to go all or nothing in my Christian walk. I believe Paul was an all or nothing kind of guy. He confessed about himself he was the worst sinner of them all. We knew he was a murderer. (The self righteous among us can say, “At least, I was not a murderer.”)

But here is my point. God is many time after the worst of us. Sometimes we who are extreme in our make up can be fools for Christ and serve Him successfully. I believe there are many in prisons that are potential “fools for Christ” and only need to properly hear or read the Word of God proclaimed so they may prepare to be bondservants and extremists for Jesus.

We believe at Prison Evangelism that the distribution of our colorful and easy to ready, but deep in meaning biblical messages are properly designed for this time and this place. We know men and women who are incarcerated take to them readily and we see conversion rates of one in five for those who will accept our book, How to be a Child of God.

So maybe, an all or nothing mentality is not so bad for all, always.


David Howell
Prison Evangelism, Inc.
PO Box 571977
Houston, Texas 77257