I was meeting up with an old friend from a long time ago and his stated fear (through a third-party) was that I was the same as I was twenty years ago. It really messed me up to even consider that I was that person. I’m not, but the thought that I would be caused me to feel like a fraud for just a second.
Then I saw people behaving like I used to and I just cringed at the thought that I was that guy. How in the world did things ever get that off track? As I identified with who I used to be, it was embarrassing. At the same time, that same temptation of feeling like a fraud crept around. Am I really different and credible now given that I was so not back then?
As I shared these thoughts and feelings with a friend the next day, he reminded me to be reminded of the victory and grace evident in my life. He took me to the realization of the redemptive process which has been ongoing and thanksgiving that Jesus has been replacing my junk with His glory. I wept as I considered the goodness I have experienced in His transformation. I wept as I appreciated that I’m not stuck “there” any longer.
Romans 6: 6, 8,11: “We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. (8) And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. (11) So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
If I were still living in that old, broken pattern of depravity, the consequences of destruction would be too numerous to count. The wasteland would be prominent in the story of my life. Since I killed that person that I used to be, however, and allowed Christ to live in me now there is the fruit of a new landscape. There is love, joy, peace and hope where there was insecurity, fear, anger and cynicism. Now there is life, and life more abundant. There is nothing fraudulent about that.