v 13. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief.
Paul attributes his antagonism against Christians to unbelief and ignorance. We read here in Acts 9 just how severe a jolt he received on the road to Damascus. It was a huge transformation and change of direction – probably a more dramatic conversion than it was for most of us. For very many the light dawns over a period of time – it was not exactly the startling kind of revelation that Paul had. Just because you have not had this kind of powerful experience does not mean that your conversion was any less real.
The fact remains however that your turning around to follow Jesus is an act of God’s mercy. How ever it came about, it was something God did that changed your mind and transformed you into a Christian believer; but the emphasis is on the fact that it was an act of mercy and it drew out a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving.
There are very many people, indeed some of our own circle of friends and neighbours, who today remain ignorant of God’s grace and kindness. They are not to be ignored or looked down on; ours is the task of telling them and demonstrating to them the reality of kindness and mercy. That is not about standing on street corners and preaching, or even giving money so that ‘Missionaries’ can do it, it is our daily responsibility to live a life of generosity, kindness and mercy that demonstrates the character of God. That may need explaining at times of course, but perhaps one of the best ways of expressing this good news of God’s mercy is to talk about it. You don’t have to be ‘preachy’ to express gratitude to God for His mercy towards you, but you can learn to introduce the idea of God-focussed thankfulness into your everyday language.
Try that today and pray that it will touch the heart and mind of someone.