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But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. (Acts 8:3 ESV)

By the way, that’s the verse right before Saul was confronted by Jesus and set aside for ministry. You probably know the rest of that story. Jesus called Paul to Himself as Paul was at his lowest point in sin against God and His people.

When I read this passage again recently, I was reminded of an important truth:

Every believer has a former life…

The person you were before Christ…

The things you wish you’d never done…

That season you’re often embarrassed about today…

The life you attempt to hide…

Those moments whose memories still haunt you…

The sin you may even be tempted with at times today…

Your former life…

You had one…

Everyone does…

Maybe we should stop trying to hide the facts and start allowing God to use us…all of us…for His good…

Go ahead…be honest…do you have a former life?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • Jason says:

    Oh, I have a former life all right. And I pay for the mistakes of it every single day when I wake up without my children in the same house.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Wow! That's heavy. Praying for you.

    • Chris Patton says:

      I am praying for you as well Jason.

      I don't know the ages of your children, but I can tell you I lived through the divorce of my parents when I was 18 and my brothers were 12 and 16. It was hard, but we made it. Now it is over 20 years later and time has healed most of the wounds.

      If that "former" life is truly former and the new has come, then you are on the right track! Honor God from here and He will do the same for you. It will never be the same again, but new can be better!

    • Jon says:

      Praying for you too Jason.

  • Jon says:

    I think that it's more than just a former life and then the Christian life. For me, there was the former life, then there was the life I said I was living in Christ, but was really just the former life with a facade, and now there's the life that I am living in Christ. In my situation it was that middle ground that got me in trouble in my marriage. I was supposed to have this relationship with Christ that was helping to run my life, but when it got hard, it was too easy to toss that off and revert; in effect I really wasn't living that life, I just made it out like I was, and if you're not right with Him, you're not right pretty much anywhere else either. Now, I am right with Him and make a full force effort each day to actually walk the talk and, although my marriage has yet to be healed, my overall life is soooooo much better.

    • Chris Patton says:

      Wow! Great addition to the post, Jon! I like that a lot.

      I was in a similar boat, but really never had the former life – I accepted Christ at the age of ten. However, as an adult, until 30 yrs. old, I was not "ALL IN" with my faith. I lived a good life and did not do a lot of bad stuff, but, like you said, it was "middle ground" rather than fully committed!

      Now, I no longer separate my life into compartments, giving one or two of them to God. Now, though still far from perfect, I try to give Him all of it…regardless of the "temporary" cost.

      Great insight, Jon.

      Thanks for the post, Ron!

      • ronedmondson says:

        Thanks. My boys have a similar story. They've always been “good”. Sinners of course, but no real heart wrenching story. They've asked if they need a testimony. I always tell them I'm happy with the one they have.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Great thoughts Jon. Yes, I agree. The Scripture does use the “former life” terminology and refers to us having a “new heart”, but your points are well taken.

      • Jon says:

        Thanx Chris and Ron. Perhaps an even "better" way to say it is that I never grew up in my relationship to Christ. When I was saved, I was in a place where I had no guidance and I never really learned to toss off the chains of the world. It's almost like I lived a double life. As time went on that life became more and more "Christian" and less worldly, but I never really learned how to just give it all over to Him. I thought I was trusting fully and leaning on Him for everything, but in truth I was always looking at things with a jaded untrusting eye. When God finally called me on that my life was in a mess, especially the marriage, and I've been taken to the point where all I really have is Him. It's taken that brokenness to allow me to more fully put my faith and trust in Him. As I said above things are so much better, but I'm still paying the price for all those years of missing what becoming a Christian really means.

        • ronedmondson says:

          I like that Jon. You are much more self aware of your own sins which frees you to be more open to Christ.

  • My former life is filled with legalism and things i would just as soon forget. I never want to go back there. I want to learn from that period and make serious changes in my life and those I come in contact with. I want others to find their heart and be free.