September 13, 2019
“I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.” (1 Timothy 1:12-14)
Above are the words of Paul, in his first letter to Timothy. He writes of being “mercifully treated.” This is the same Paul who was knocked off his horse, left temporarily blinded, and was eventually imprisoned and killed for his work on behalf of Jesus Christ. Certainly an odd definition of “mercifully treated.”
Paul is comparing his two distinct lives. First there was his life without Christ, a life spent arresting and persecuting those who followed Him. It was a shallow and empty existence.
Then there was his life with Christ. Despite many hardships and much suffering, his life had meaning and purpose. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and made it his life’s work to bring the Gospel message to others.
His empty, meaningless life was mercifully replaced by one guided by a message of love and hope.