“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ.”2 Corinthians 5:17-18a
Some reputations stick for a lifetime. If you live in a small town, you know that practically the only secrets are the thoughts kept to oneself. This is especially true in prison where I mingle with the same 100 or so people every day. Disguised as “advice,” rumors quickly spread, and reports are made as to who is or is not to be trusted, and why or why not.
The Apostle Paul knew just how it feels to be distrusted and suspected. He himself had earned a reputation for being a violent enemy of Christ (Acts 9:1-31; Galatians 1:11-24). A decade after his conversion, he wrote to the church in Corinth with a disturbing report he’d received about their conduct. By tolerating an immoral relationship within their ranks, they were bringing shame to God’s people and obscuring the power of His grace to permanently change lives. They needed to recall what they themselves had once been.
We too can show the world that for those who are washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of Jesus Christ, no bad reputation is forever.
People considered Zacchaeus “irredeemable.” But Jesus sought him out and transformed his life (Luke 19:1-10). He is seeking you, too!