Inspired by 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
“Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.” 1 Corinthians 15:8-11 (NRSV)
No matter what we’ve done, no matter how many horrible mistakes we’ve made, no matter how much we feel as though we’ve worked in direct opposition to God, we are never beyond his reach for salvation and sanctification. Paul was not a follower of Jesus with the original apostles. Quite the contrary, Paul worked to actively persecute and tear down the community of believers that the original apostles were working so hard to build up. Yet his conscious and active opposition against the church of God not only did not make him ineligible for God’s salvation, but God used Paul’s zealotry and reputation as tools for proclaiming the gospel of the Lord.
God knows we’re not perfect, and he doesn’t expect us to be. God knows our weaknesses and failings, and through his grace he is able to turn them into strengths and assets. The message of salvation is God’s message, and he uses all types of messengers to proclaim it. The people who still need to hear his message have weaknesses and failings of their own, and they’re more likely to receive that message from someone they can relate to, i.e. someone who can testify to the fact that they didn’t have to change into something they’re not in order to receive God’s grace. God’s grace enables us to become the people we’ve always wanted to be, the people we were meant to be, the people God created us to be.
Let us pray. Merciful God, you take our failings and turn them around for your good purposes. Help us to recognize your grace in our lives, that we may boldly proclaim your love to all who still need to hear it. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.