It doesn’t matter
1 Timothy 1:15
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.”
Paul had quite a track record before Christ introduced himself while, as Saul, he was on the way to Damascus to eradicate as many of the Christ followers as he could. Murder and mayhem following the laws of man in the name of God (so sadly we still have a good bunch of that going on).
Yet, v16 “for the very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” From murder and mayhem enforcing man’s laws in the name of God, to a radical Christ follower, a true believer, who had Christ get inside his head for a bit and set him right.
The worst of sinners Paul claims. He didn’t know Hitler, or Stalin, or Mao, or me. We all fall short because we aren’t sinless and nobody ever will be. Yet, Christ pours out grace abundantly even to the most blasphemous and unbelieving while we are still dead in sin and unbelief (v13-14).
Thankfully though, Christ gives us strength, He never walks away from us, He still considers us trustworthy to be of service to Him, He will appoint us to serve (v12) if we are willing to have faith and believe (v14 again).
It doesn’t matter what we think, what we’ve done, as long as we are ready to truly turn from our ways, to make amends where possible (and pray fervently for forgiveness where we can’t), to grieve and own the mistakes we have made, to accept forgiveness given in unmerited grace, to have faith in the healing power of God. In short, repent.
God has taken the worst of us when we turn from our ways. He calls us to do the same. Live in peace, in the grace Christ provides, in His love. It doesn’matter where you’ve been; it does matter where you go next, and next, and next, and….
In His Name,