The way you used to be

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live …
- from Ephesians 2:1-2
Today’s passage humbles and empowers us.
We’re reminded of the lives we used to live. Some of us had wild lives, irresponsible lives, cruel or selfish or deceptive lives before we encountered Jesus. The rest of us sat mired in self-righteousness, hypocrisy, arrogance, and apathy.
Paul paints with a broad brush when looking in the rear view mirror. We were all dead.
Dead means dead. Dead people can’t do anything to help themselves. Dead people start to stink. Dead people miss out on opportunities for celebration and joy. Death is our great enemy and a tragic wildness that stalks our world.
We used to live in death. We shuffled around like the brain-eating walkers of horror fiction, lost in zombie land. And Jesus rescued us.
Where, then, is the opportunity for pride? God is the one who worked the miracle to bring us from death to life. Jesus broke the bonds of our transgressions and sins. The Holy Spirit gives us new life. We rejoice in the new life we’ve received, but we don’t brag about it.
A humble memory of where you came from – of the darkness, brokenness, and pain in your past – can empower you to live the life of love God wants for you. You will be more compassionate toward the brokenness in others’ lives if you acknowledge the pain in your own past.
Take a moment and remember where God brought you from. What has God changed about your life when he’s brought you to new life?

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