Hi, my name is Shane Little. I was born in a professing Christian home in North Carolina in 1972. We attended church quite often though sometime sporadically. I would say that I first responded to the gospel message in some way probably in my early teens. I said the prayer, and I said all the right things, and I was baptized.
And then, as I grew a little older, I still professed to be a Christian the whole time, and really believed I was. As soon as I finished high school, when I was eighteen years old, I got married. My wife and I, as I said, we got married very young, I was eighteen and she was twenty and we had a son immediately. And we got a small place behind my mom and dad’s house and I worked full time and finished school. Then when I graduated I went into management with Papa John’s.
I was able to move up fairly quickly. In 2004 I became a Papa John’s franchisee. I actually put a few people together and we bought a market, and that’s what I do now. My wife and I and son moved to Tallahassee in 2004.
But, I would say we were two very selfish people, we were more concerned about what we got out of the relationship, each one individually, and so as a result it just didn’t work. I mean it was just a mess for a while. We’re still currently married it’s going on nineteen years now.
When we moved to Tallahassee things were better then already but they certainly weren’t good. And I really didn’t spend much time with my family. I would say I was completely addicted to poker. I mean for the last year I had played poker five nights a week, until three or four in the morning, constantly, I mean I was full fledged into it. And I had a really hard time forgiving people. If they did me wrong then I would harbor that resentment and I wouldn’t let them in again, and it would destroy the fellowship.
And so throughout all of that I still held firm to professing to be a Christian, but I strayed more and more from God and I would say I fell into more and more sin. Rarely ever read my bible, I wasn’t really involved in church; I would go off and on. You know, really wasn’t living the way I should have lived.
Two years ago now, my son gave me a CD to listen to a sermon. He had become friends with a guy in our neighborhood and they were going around passing out gospel tracts. And they were doing some things, they were involved and Jinoo was a very good influence on my son. And for whatever reason, my son came across this sermon and he thought it was something I should hear. I’m sure that he probably thought looking at my life, that this is something I would need to hear.
And it was on Matthew 7 where Jesus says; “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father.” Somewhere fairly early in the sermon he made a statement that kind of surprised me and I thought “Well this is ridiculous, but I’m going to go ahead and listen to the rest of it.” He said “Your profession of faith in Christ means nothing.” He said “Some of you think you’re going to heaven or you’re saved because you said a prayer years ago and asked Jesus to come into your heart.” And I thought “Well that’s me” and I thought “Well of course that’s how you get saved, that’s what salvation is.” And he said “You think you’re saved because of that but yet you show no fruit in your life.” And I felt like I was going to be one of those guys standing there at the end, saying “Lord, Lord, you’re Jesus, you’re my Savior.” And He was going to look at me and say “I don’t know you” And so it really shook me pretty hard and got me to thinking.
I believe sometime thereafter, and I don’t know, there wasn’t a magic moment or anything, but somewhere over the next month or so I really started digging deeper in the scriptures and listening to a lot more preaching and discovered that I don’t believe I was ever born again. Because I’m not talking about making a few mistakes or doing a few things wrong, I’m saying my entire life did not demonstrate the faith that I professed.
And so as I began to struggle and look at my life, and God began to convict my spirit as I began to look at my life, I saw a lot of problems. I just didn’t see any fruit, I saw a lot of bad, but I didn’t see any fruit. So I believe at that time, somewhere in the end of 2007, beginning of 2008, I believe that I was truly born again. And the biggest change that I saw in my life was that I began to hate the sin that I used to enjoy, and I began to love righteousness more.
The things that I used to do that I would enjoy, there were certain sitcoms that I could just sit there and watch, and I couldn’t sit there and watch that anymore, it would make me sick to my stomach. The environment where I would sit and play poker night, after night, after night, my spirit couldn’t take that anymore. I find it much easier to forgive other people now, I mean there is a dramatic drastic change.
The man that I was before who enjoyed sin, and who couldn’t forgive, and who was bitter, and who was selfish, and had time only for himself, is now a person who seeks after God, and is really more diligent about trying to serve Him.