Agrippa asked Paul, “In such a short time do you think you can talk me into being a Christian?” Paul answered, “Whether it takes a short time or a long time, I wish you and everyone else who hears me today would become just like me! Except, of course, for these chains.”
(Acts 26:28-29 CEV)
Paul’s past as a former persecutor of the church isn’t very appealing. However, Paul didn’t cease to mention it in his epistles:
“Finally, he appeared to me, even though I am like someone who was born at the wrong time. I am the least important of all the apostles. In fact, I caused so much trouble for God’s church that I don’t even deserve to be called an apostle.” (1 Corinthians 15:8-9)
“You know how I used to live as a Jew. I was cruel to God’s church and even tried to destroy it.” (Galatians 1:13)
“I used to say terrible and insulting things about him, and I was cruel.” (1 Timothy 1:13)
Yet it amazes me how this same Paul could stand before King Agrippa and boldly tell him, “Whether it takes a short time or a long time, I wish you and everyone else who hears me today would become just like me! Except, of course, for these chains.” While Paul knew he wasn’t perfect, he wanted Agrippa and those who heard him to imitate his example of following Christ. Similarly, while we’ll never be perfect in this life, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive to inspire the people we meet along the way to become followers of Christ. Don’t allow your negative past to stop you from setting a good example for others. Aspire to inspire.
Aim to inspire others to follow Jesus.