"He [Jesus] left there [Jairus' house - where he raised the
young girl back to life] and returned to his hometown...
He made a real hit, impressing everyone...
They said, 'How did he get so wise all of a sudden, get such ability?'
But in the next breath, they were cutting him down...'
We've known him since he was a kid... Who does he think he is?"
Mark 6:1-3 (The Message)
When I accepted Christ, I became a new person. I "believed" in Christ my entire life since I was raised in the faith. However, I didn't really accept him, for myself, until I was an adult and had a child of my own. I had someone from my past try to keep me down. Through someone else, she tried to make me think I was the same person I was before I accepted Christ. The same cigarette-smoking, cursing person I was way back when.
I will never forget that day. I was at my kitchen counter, wearing the 'home school uniform' (a lovely lavender denim jumper), baking something. (I know, right? You couldn't get much more stereo-typical than that! LOL) I remember closing my eyes, taking a deep breath and gently saying, "That's who I used to be. I am not that person anymore." Then, I admitted much of my own past to the person I was speaking to - a person I love very much and hated having to admit many of my wrongs to - but I saw that I needed to do so in order for this person to see that I wasn't trying to hide my guilt; that I wasn't trying to be a hypocrite in who I was that day.
I was a sinner way back then and I'm still a sinner today. I need Jesus just as much today as I needed him back in the days of my youth. I still lose my temper. I still slam doors when I get angry. I still curse at times (Although, thank the Lord, this has gotten even less! You know it's gotten better when you slam your finger in the cupboard and you seethe the words, "OH MAN!" instead of some other 4-letter word. LOL) I no longer smoke - and haven't in almost 13 yrs now (Praise Jesus!!!) but oh, do I still crave it when I get angry about something. There are many, many things that have changed about me since accepting Christ and there are many, many things that still need to change. I'm not perfect - I'm a work-in-progress. And if I ever act as if I am, that's just me showing the world that I still need Jesus!
However, I will not allow anyone to try to make me believe I am the same person as I was back then. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus and no one will make me believe otherwise. :-) I love how the notes in my husband's NLT Life Application Bible puts it... "If friends, neighbors, or family don't respect your Christian work, don't let their rejection keep you from serving God." Amen!