A New Creation

Jim Sloan is a walking miracle. All of his coworkers are amazed that he treats everyone with respect and kindness. Why the amazement? This is Jim’s second time around at the plant where he works. The first time was quite different; Jim disrespected co-workers, he took advantage of the weak and he was insubordinate to his supervisors. In short, Jim was a certified rear end and I’m being nice. But the story of Jim’s hateful behavior actually began years before when Jim was involved in a senseless automobile accident in which his best friend was killed. Though Jim was not charged with a crime such as manslaughter, the accident was his fault and he lived with the gut-wrenching guilt of getting his best friend killed. The guilt was so gripping that he tried to numb it with alcohol and cover it with an abusive temper. Not only was Jim abusive at work, he was more so at home. He was a terror to his wife and children. Eventually, he lost both his job and his family.

One day when Jim was alone in the empty house that had once been a home, the door bell rang. When he opened the door, Jim recognized a familiar face but could not come up with a name. She identified herself and then Jim realized it was his friend’s mother. She told Jim why she had come; recently she had received Christ as her Savior and He had changed her life and her attitude. She explained to Jim how she had lived with bitterness and hatred since her son’s death and she asked for his forgiveness because a lot of the hatred had been vented toward Jim. She told him that she had blamed him for her son’s death but now she had forgiven him.

Jim was stunned. He didn’t know what to say so he ask her to tell him more about how she overcame the bitterness and hate. The woman shared the gospel with Jim and gave Christ all the credit for the new-found attitude. When she talked about her guilt for the death of God’s son and how He had forgiven her, Jim was moved. She explained that because God had forgiven her of her part in the death of His Son, she wanted to forgive Jim for his part in the death of her son. This brought Jim to his knees. He begged God to forgive him for his part in Christ death and for his part in the death of this woman’s son. Jim gave his tattered life to Jesus and God began a work of transformation in his life.

As Christ lifted Jim’s burden of guilt, he became a new person. Everyone noticed the change in Jim; he became a new creation. So radical was the change in Jim’s life that he became the mirror opposite of what he had been. He became a kind and respectful person who had a genuine concern for all people. He eventually got his job and his family back. Both were thrilled with the new Jim.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  {2 Corinthians 5:17}

This story comes from Roy Edgemon and Barry Sneed’s book Jesus By Heart.

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