Earlier this week, we reported that Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg‘s past had come back to haunt him, as social media users dug up some racially-motivated crimes he allegedly committed as a child. Now, interviews have surfaced from a few years ago in which Wahlberg opened up about how becoming a Christian turned his life around.
Wahlberg grew up in a rough part of Boston, and he began running with the wrong crowd at a young age. He said in 2011 that the experience of going to jail at just 16 years of age was a “wake-up call” for him.
“Jail was definitely a wake-up call for me. I was 16 years old, I was arrested and tried as an adult,” Wahlberg said. “A lot of the guys I looked up to in the neighborhood were actually there, and I had become one of them. I thought: ‘You know what? This is not what I want out of my life.’ So I decided from that point on that I was going to turn my life around.”
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In another interview in 2012, Wahlberg talked about the changes he began to make upon his release from incarceration. “I had to make the choice personally, and then I had to focus on my faith. My faith has allowed me to overcome a lot of things. And hard work. Nothing comes easy, especially when you have your back against the wall and have a lot of things coming at you,” Wahlberg said. “I wanted to prove to people through my actions, not my words, that I was going to change and make a positive impact on the community that I come from – and that’s why I do so much youth work, within our foundation and with inner city kids.”
It was then that Wahlberg found God, and he discovered that everything turned around for him immediately from there. “Once I focused on my faith wonderful things started happening for me. And I don’t mean professionally—that’s not what it’s about,” he recalled. “For me to sit down and ask for material things is ridiculous. It’s a much bigger picture than that. I want to serve God and to be a good human being and to make up for the mistakes I made and the pain I put people through. That’s what I’m praying for, and I recommend it to anybody.”
“Anything that’s good in my life is because of my faith. A lot of people get in trouble, go to jail and find God, and the minute they don’t need God anymore, they’re gone,” Wahlberg added. “But I spend a good portion of my day thanking God for all the blessings that have been bestowed on me. If it all ended today, I’d be happy. I’ve had such an amazing journey.”
These days, life is going better than ever for Wahlberg. Not only is he one of the most sought-after A-list stars in Hollywood, he is also a devoted husband and father of four children. Despite all his success, Wahlberg has never forgotten that his devotion to Christ is what has gotten him there. “What I do every day is pray for the strength to be a good servant, father and husband,” he said. “I ask for the ability to raise my kids, to teach and protect them and to be disciplined and firm and loving and nurturing. It can be a fine line, so I ask God for the strength to not lose my patience with my children.”
”My faith and my family are the most important things,” Wahlberg concluded. “Those things allow me to be successful in all the other things that I’m doing… The most important thing is to have been successful in my service to the community and to the Church and to my family.”
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