Hollywood actor, Zachary Levi shares powerful testimony on how God delivered him from several personal struggles in his life, including depression and suicide.
“My particular upbringing and the way that it molded me and shaped me brought me to a lot of these ends,” Levi spoke about how his troubling childhood affected him deeply. “I completely fell apart. I was surrounded by darkness [and] had nothing but lies being spewed into my ear,” he added.
“I really came to the point where I … didn’t want to live … and I didn’t know what to do,” he said. He decided to move to Texas, some years ago, and received support from family members and friends, during his battle with mental illness. During his treatment, he was led by a woman to learn to love himself and strengthen his faith.
Zachary Levi shared that he was continuously bullied by others for being the “nerdy kid.” He turned to alcohol, sex, and drugs to cope but it made matters worse. “The truth is, we’re all messed up. But it doesn’t mean that we’re broken beyond repair. It just means that we all have healing that we need to do.”
Levi was raised in a Judeo-Christian tradition, but he’s found Jesus Christ as the answer to all his problems. Although he admits he’s not perfect but is a work in progress, he has found the hope he needs to get through difficult times.
“I found the other side, and it’s vibrant and amazing,” Levi said. “It doesn’t mean that I don’t have a lot more healing to do in my life. It doesn’t mean that I won’t still struggle with moments and things that require more therapy. But I know life is far more worth living and fighting for now that I’ve fought through that darkness.”
He says he is redeemed from all the stuff that kept him bound for most of his life. “I was so enveloped in the darkness that it was pretty much the first time in my life I could say that I maybe stopped believing there was a God.”
“I have always leaned into God and into my faith and trust and followed [Him]. I haven’t done it perfectly. But I got to this place where … to feel abandoned and to feel like I didn’t want to live anymore really, really, really shook my faith.”
Now he wants to help others in their walk with God and help them realize that they are “extensions of God’s love.” He said, “You’re a miracle … you’re still a mathematical improbability beyond all measure — that we are spinning around on this ball of mud out in the middle of the universe.”
Zachary Levi says the title of his book, Radical Love, is based on Jesus’ teachings to love others, including our enemies because “actual love is a radical practice.”
“Jesus was saying to love your enemy and pray for your persecutor. This is something that nobody seemingly does,” Levi said. “And [Christ] talks about, to love those who already love you isn’t really love … love is to radically accept someone else exactly as they are, exactly where they’re from.”
“These are our enemies, these are our persecutors, but we don’t take the time to acknowledge that they are still also a child of God, that they are still a miracle that is across from us, whether that’s across the aisle, across the faith, across whatever you might find,” he said.
“If we have any chance of making it into a future that is not just really sad and really full of hate and anger and fear, we’ve got to radically accept where people are in their lives. But it doesn’t mean we should accept negative behavior from people” said Levi.
Levi said he has put into practice all that he preaches about and has forgiven his mother because of whom he went through tumultuous times. “It took me a lot of healing and a lot of forgiveness to get to the point where I could forgive and love my mother, for example, who was a major contributor to the trauma that I experienced in my life.”
“If we want a better world, we’re going to have to radically love each other.” Levi said.
This is an amazing story for all of us and a reminder to not open up ourselves to bitterness in life but to show our enemies the love of Christ through our actions and deeds.