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Why Tim Keller's Friend Wore His Seatbelt

Some years ago, I had a relative who never would wear a seat belt. Every time I talked to him, he would get in the car, but wouldn't wear his seat belt. We all nagged him to no avail. Then one day he got in the car and put his seat belt on right away. We said, "What happened to you?" He said, "A couple weeks ago, I went to see a friend of mine in the hospital. He was in a car crash, and he went through the windshield. He had like 200 stitches in his face. For some strange reason, ever since then, I've been having no problem buckling up."

I asked him, "Well, did you get new information? What changed you? Did you not know that people go through the windshield?" Of course I knew the answer to those questions: What happened was that an abstract proposition became connected to an actual sensory experience that is something he saw. As Jonathan Edwards used to basically say over and over again, it's only when you attach to some truth—that's when real life change occurs. Something has to become real to your heart. Then you will be changed.

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