Caught up in lad culture and getting in trouble with the police, Matt kept trying to change but it wasn't working.

Matt’s story was produced by the
Evangelical Alliance with the support of

- When I was at university, I was steeped in sort of lad culture, but with that just came more and more misery.
My name's Matt, and this is my story.
I've always been in the church really, and then I walked away from the Lord at about 17.
I finished college, and then I went to university and I just went out all the time and that's when I really stepped away from the Lord and I really just went out and gettin' drunk and I was gettin' into some more and more trouble.
I got into a fight at university and I damaged the guy quite badly, and I went to the police station, and I remember just before I went in, I was prayin'.
I said, "Lord, if you get me out of this, I'll change my life, I'll change my life," and then I didn't.
Basically, I went straight back to it once I got out.
I quit university after two years and then I came back home and I got into another fight with some bouncers.
I got arrested, but I remember again, I prayed just before that."
I said, "Lord," I said, "If you get me out of this, I'll change," and I was put into the back of a police car and my mates were put into another one.
They drove my mates to the police station and drove me over to a Tesco carpark and just opened the door and said, "Right, you can go.
When I came home from university, I realised that I needed to work really hard if I wanted to be successful and that's what I did.
I got my head down.
Yeah, it was coming to a point where I'd work my way up to be able to take over my own business, just a normal day, and my mate rang me.
We're about to take it over in a week time.
He said, this is my partner, he said, "Can I ring you?"
I'm having second thoughts.
Can we have a chat?"
Yeah, he just says, "I'm startin' havin' all these second thoughts."
I don't know if I wanna do it, I don't know if I do this in my life," and I'm thinkin', "Okay, this is not good for me."
And then he says, "I'm having all these questions as well about Jesus," and I was like, "What?
And he just starts asking me all these questions and yeah, right there, I felt the Lord spoke to me and he said, "I'll give you the answers if you trust me.
And that sort of just changed everything then."
Suddenly this Jesus I'd heard about had suddenly begun speaking to me.
I was like, "What's goin' on here?"
I went back to work on my own, and I was just thinkin' about what had just happened, thinkin' about my life, and I remember, I knew Billy Graham, and I put a Billy Graham sermon on YouTube, and he spoke about from Joshua 24, "You've got to make sure your choice for your life.
Whom this day do you serve?
And right then and there I said, "Lord," I said, "I wanna change, I wanna choose you, but I can't."
From the past I'd try and change my behaviour, but it just doesn't work.
I need you to come in and do it.
And that was the first time I really surrendered, and he came in and changed me, and that was six years ago.
It says, "Those who have sinned much love much," and that's very true for me.
To know that I stand right now forgiven of my sins is amazing.
I can live with real freedom.
Jesus doesn't just make a difference to your life, he transforms your life.