As I look back on my early days of following Jesus I am a bit ashamed.
I was arrogant.
I was mean.
I was prideful.
I was rude.
I was always right.
I was judge and jury.
Yes, this is me shortly after my conversion to Christianity. That doesn’t seem to line up well with what Jesus is like. I can only imagine the people who I hurt through my mean arrogance.
I grew up going to church. I was taught the way of love and kindness. It was modeled for me in my family and at church. But, as a young man I was determined to set the world straight.
Paul’s words in Ephesians 2:11-12 are critical for the Christian,
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:11-12 ESV)
Paul, for the second time in a just a handful of sentences, reminds the people at Ephesus who they were before Christ. They were separated, alienated, strangers, and had no hope. Paul doesn’t want us to forget. He wants us to remember. If we can remember then we will feel the grace and experience gratitude.
More than this, if we remember what God has done for us, then we will be much more empathetic and compassionate towards those that are around us. If we are in a constant state of gratitude for grace and mercy then we will be wounded healers. We will be a people who love well.
How does remembering your story change your perspective of others? How does it change your perspective of self?