Acts 9:1-6 – Saul (was) still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.
Have you ever seen someone in a rage? Have you ever seen someone lose control, fit to be tied? That's an interesting phrase – fit to be tied. It means someone who has lost it, and needs to be restrained, tied up, to stop them from hurting themselves or others.
Paul always reminded me of someone with a temper, someone who could lose control, someone 'fit to be tied'. We see Paul just before he encounters the risen Christ and yes, he is fit to be tied. He is breathing threats and murder. He's out to get the Christians, and he seems to enjoy his work greatly. It was said of him that he was more zealous in his persecution of Christians than all the rest. Paul considered it his duty to make life as miserable as possible for as many Christian believers as possible. Is there any hope for someone like Paul? Can he be changed, take a new course, have a new beginning?
The answer is yes, but it's not easy. Anger, hatred, hurt and violence become a way of life, as it had for Paul. It takes a radical change to have such ingrained responses removed for good. But by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, such change is possible. Paul is living proof that even the worst are worth saving. Paul may be living proof of conversion. In our area we have an organization called New Leaf that helps men who have had a violent past. Change is possible. Violence can end. The church can help. Thanks be to God.
Prayer: Lord we thank you for every effort to combat violence in the home. Help us get to the heart of the violence within our society and touch and transform it with the love of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.