Reprinted from the April 2015 issue of Gospel Advocate Magazine, this article describes one man’s struggle to escape a street gang lifestyle and turn to Christ.
Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2 ESV). It has been my experience that I am often unaware of the transforming process of the gospel until I see the contrast of who I used to be and who I am now. The transformation Paul speaks of reflects a fundamental change in character, and such change does not happen except by a “renewal” of the mind over a consistent and indeterminate period of time.
My story is of one foolish soul who was transformed by the gospel. I am afraid that at times I feel that I carry the memories of another man. Nevertheless, I was what I was, and I am what I am; may God be glorified by this thorn-riddled soul only to the extent that I find closure in my weaknesses and glory in His strength (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
Before you are the beginnings of a hoodlum who was transformed by Christ, and that hoodlum (spoiler alert) was me. This is how I tell it.