I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that most of us probably look at the conversion of Saul of Tarsus with a tinge of envy. We would like to have a radical conversion testimony.
Nevertheless, every new birth is radical. When we were born again the result should have been a completely new person: “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
When the Apostle Paul looked back on Saul of Tarsus, he saw another man. He saw an insolent man, a stubborn persecutor and a blasphemer, who hated Jesus of Nazareth, and as a result created havoc within the Church.
He thought that he was doing the right thing as he held the clothes of those who stoned Stephen. He thought he was on the right track as he arrested, tortured, and even killed those who named the Name of Christ.
But the physical blindness that resulted from seeing the light on the Damascus Road, caused him to see that he was terribly wrong.
When God commanded the light to shine in his heart, it forever humbled him and made him a new man in Christ.
One flaw of human nature is that we think we are right about almost everything. The Bible says, “Every man is right in his own eyes” (Proverbs 21:2). This insistence that we are right is rooted in pride, and it results in friction in marriage, in politics, between friends, family, and in the workplace.
It was in our coming to Christ that we were humbled, and found out that our godless worldview was wrong. Like Saul of Tarsus, we were headed in the wrong direction. The new birth stopped us in our tracks and made us new creatures in Christ. We now insist that life’s decisions (both small and great), should be made while looking to the brilliant heavens, and asking the question, “What shall I do, Lord?”
We are therefore congenial rather than contentious. We have the wisdom that’s from above rather than the wisdom that is devilish. We are open to reason. We live in the Spirit. Love, joy, peace and patience are now evident in our daily lives, rather than the works of the flesh.
And the result of walking in humility, and living for God’s will rather than our own, should be peace within our marriage, harmony in the home, and congeniality within our friendships and in the workplace.
We preach the gospel of peace and live our lives as peacemakers, who are blessed to be called the children of God.