Be Inspired. Be Empowered. Be Transformed.
Getting to Know the New You (Page 45)
“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”
Change isn’t easy — even good change takes some getting use to. When God changes us, it takes time for us to become confident that we really have changed. The apostle Paul knew that was true. When we think of Paul, we think of a spiritual giant, author of much of the New Testament. When someone stand up in Church and says, “Let’s read what Paul said in Romans,” or “As Paul said in the book of Galatians…” no one questions it. But there was a time when Paul was a guy everyone questioned. He wasn’t the great apostle; he was just a man with a new name and a bad reputation: Pharisee of Pharisees. Persecutor of the early church. Someone who can’t be trusted. So I wonder if he ever shook someone’s hand and said, “Hi. I’m Saul… er… um… I mean, Paul. I’m Paul.”
Most women who have been married know a name change can require some getting use to. You were Mary Smith, but now you’re Mary Styborski. You used to be Sally Jones, but now you’re Sally Riglesten. It takes time to get comfortable with a new name but keep in mind, Paul was dealing with more than just a name change – Paul was embracing a change of heart and nature as well.
Imagine him saying “Hi. I’m Paul. I’m a follower of Jesus now. I’d like to tell you about Him.” People must have looked at this Christian – persecuting Pharisee-turned-preacher and thought Wait a second. This is the Saul guy. I’ve heard about him. He persecutes and arrests Christians… I don’t trust him and I find it hard to believe he has really changed!