Christian Living

Spiritual Life

I’m a New Creation ... Why Don’t You Believe Me?

How could her husband trust her? Why should he believe her? Those were the concerns my friend expressed to me as we sipped our coffee. It had been only six months since she ended her affair. She knew her relationship with Jesus Christ was real. She knew she was different. She knew there was no going back, but how could her husband know it too? She was living proof of 2 Corinthians 5:17,

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT)

Her husband told her he forgave her; however, it became evident he was still skeptical. She accepted the fact it would take time to rebuild trust, but she was eager to show him her transformation was real. 

I told her she needed a Barnabas. Looking puzzled, I shared the story of the Apostle Paul. Just before his conversion on the road to Damascus when his name was Saul, the Bible says he “was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the LORD’S followers.” Acts 9:1 (NLT)

However, as Saul walked, the LORD revealed Himself and set Saul on a life-changing journey where he would never be the same. God gave him a new name: Paul. The Bible tells us right after his conversion, the Apostle Paul immediately began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues. Again, understandably, the people were skeptical. They even questioned, “isn’t this the same man who caused the devastation in Jerusalem?” Eventually, he traveled to Jerusalem and tried to meet with people, but everyone was afraid. They did not believe he was for real. Then Barnabas! 

“Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the LORD on the way to Damascus and how the LORD had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.” Acts 9: 27 NLT

Barnabas advocated for Paul. Like Paul, my friend needed an advocate to help her husband know she was serious about her new faith in her Savior. If only there was a person to speak to her husband on her behalf, he might believe. She knew just the person. Their pastor. They had met with him many times. He knew her story, and he had helped her through her confession, healing, and restoration. 

They set up a meeting. Having their pastor verify her remorse and sorrow over her bad decision helped her husband understand her conversion was sincere. The pastor counseled them. There were tears of joy and reconciliation as her husband saw true transformation.

It has been 20 years. Their marriage is stronger than ever. People can change. Saul changed. My friend changed. While transformations can be genuine, people from our past may be reluctant to believe change is real. We may need a Barnabas, an advocate to verify our change and good standing. 

Once my friend’s pastor convinced her husband to trust her, there was no stopping the restoration of their marriage. Once Barnabas convinced the apostles to trust Paul, there was no stopping the growth of the new church.

“The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the LORD. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.” Acts 9:31 NLT

It all began when Barnabas declared to the disciples what had taken place. The Apostle Paul went on to spend the rest of his life teaching, preaching, and baptizing.  

For anyone who has had a transformation, they know they are a new creation. They know their past is gone. Having others see and believe the change may take some time, and it might help to find a Barnabas!

Copyright © 2017 Anne Ferrell Tata. Used by permission.

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