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Guest Blog Post by Tony Colson

My wife found me balled up on the floor in a fetal position. Anxiety had driven me to one of my lowest points. I was a pastor of a church. She proceeded to console me and help me find the courage to get off the floor, exit my office, and walk on stage to deliver Sunday’s sermon to a congregation largely oblivious to the private struggle I suffered.

Cracked, bleeding hands revealed a hidden secret of my life with OCD. Only my wife knew the hell I lived in. Every day I was tormented by uncontrollable obsessions and compulsions that followed.

It was a gruesome cycle that repeated over and over again for approximately 16 years. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, known by most as OCD, can express itself in various ways, from counting to cleanliness to sexuality to relationships. The subset I struggled with is known as scrupulosity.

This form of OCD fixates on religious and moral issues. My condition spiraled downward to the point that I lost the distinction between reality and thought. If I thought it, I thought I had done whatever I thought. An impulsive thought would become an obsession, leading to a fear that I had sinned, which led to the compulsion of confession. Intrusive thought. Obsession. Fear. Compulsion. Repeat.

Day In. Day out. Moment by moment, I was chased by fear which was robbing me of life. I was tired. I lost my identity. I was scared. I was tired. I was scared. I wanted it to end. I even wanted—at my dark moment—to end it myself. Living afraid that someone might find out about the real me—whoever that was. And yet, wanting to be the real me—whoever that was. Afraid to come out of the dark but more afraid of what the light might expose.

I fasted. I prayed. I went to counseling. I searched and searched for the answer.

And then, God’s truth penetrated the wall of shame that held me captive. God’s truth finally pressed through the cycle of obsessions and compulsion, and a small seed of faith grew. It is a simple truth, but most don’t understand. Actually, people look right past it in the Scriptures. It’s there. But, because we don’t understand, we can’t fully know.

In his patience as a teacher, the Holy Spirit finally opened my eyes to a popular verse that is often quoted. It is a verse that I had preached many times and yet had not fully grasped the power of the Scripture. The Bible verse is found in John 8:31-32. It is a quote by Jesus Himself as He says,

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” ESV

Throughout the entire struggle, I stayed in His word. I continued in daily devotions reading the Bible on most days. Every dark day, I would still go to the Word. Every hard day, the Word of God would get a visit from me even when it didn’t seem to work. Even when I would go to bed worse than the day before. I stayed in the Word.

Thankfully, this Scripture would be the source of my miracle. Jesus said,

‘You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’

I knew the Bible, but I didn’t know the truth. This is important. Yes, the truth is found in the Bible, but it has to be known by us before it can unlock us. Let me explain.

I took Greek in Seminary and often look to the original language to find meaning in Scripture. One day, I examined this passage and discovered the truth that freed me. Have you ever asked the question,

"If knowing the truth sets me free, what is truth?’"

We learn what truth really means as we return to the original language.

Truth, in Greek, is the word Aletheia. What’s important to know is that Aletheia is a negative word. In English, we would recognize negative words like unstoppable or unreachable. In other words, the negation reverses the meaning of the word. In Greek, “a”, is a negation. Therefore, aletheia is ‘a’ plus letheia.

In order to gain a full understanding of truth, we have to know what the negation is reversing.

Truth is the opposite of letheia. Letheia is from the root word, lethe, which means ‘forgetfulness’. So let’s write John 8:32 this way:

“When you know ‘not to forget’, not forgetting will set you free.”

OCD operates largely out of fear. Fear is - as the acronym illustrates—false evidence that appears real. I don't have time in this short article to address every aspect of this revelation. Nevertheless, when I realized the secret to freedom is found the moment we remember who we really are, everything began to change. Our divine identity empowers us to rule over every lie.

When I chose to obey the truth rather than the lie, that very first time, OCD began to lose its power over me. And then each decision after that, not to forget who I really was—slowly but increasingly led me to freedom.

The result? I am off anxiety medicine. I don’t have cracked hands that bleed. I only take one shower a day (instead of 29). I don’t sit in a dark room with the world's weight on my shoulders. I am in my best health, body, soul, and spirit—ever. My mind is the sharpest it’s ever been. My ability to love and serve people has grown beyond any point in my life before.

I am free from OCD. I am free to be me - the real me.

I am still pastoring today, but now I can help and coach people to their full potential. I call it unlocking your divine DNA. I wrote a book that shares these principles of truth that set me free. I love to help people escape the past and embrace their true identity and the future that God has prepared for them. For the last 5 years, I have helped authors publish their books, showing them how I became an award-winning writer.

The name of my company is called Greatness Makers. I love to make others great by helping them unlock their greatness. If you are struggling with fear or OCD, or if anxiety is robbing you of life, I can help you, step by step, embrace who God fearfully and wonderfully made you—who He intends you to be. Or maybe you have a story that you need to write, a book that will help others; I can help. Contact me, and let me guide you every step of the way. You can reach me at or on social media. (Facebook @tonycolson, IG @tonylcolson, LinkedIn @tonycolson, and X (formerly known as Twitter) @tonycolson)

If you want to read my story, you can pick up my book anywhere books are sold. To purchase it from Amazon,

JOIN us on the Beacon of Light Podcast Tuesday, Aug 15, 2023, at 6:30 pm MDT to hear an amazing conversation.

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