What does it take for a violent thug to become a good useful person?

Have you ever been intentionally harmed by another person?

When we encounter pure evil it is hard to imagine this person, (causing trouble and pain), could ever become good and redeemable.  But it can happen.

It seems we live in a day of increased violence and destruction.  You see it on the news and social media more often now.  It could be due to a combination of reducing some felony crimes to misdemeanors, along with a self serving entitlement generation, finally coming into full bloom.

Whatever the reason, none of us wants to encounter evil people.

The story of Saul is one such example.  He was by today’s standards a feared violent murderous thug.  He systematically harmed, and had people killed because they did not believe like he did.  He was so persuasive with the community leaders, they gave him a permit, of approval to arrest and bring tremendous harm to people.

Imagine Gov leaders allowing harm and death to one group of people by another group that thought differently?  

History certainly repeats itself regarding this subject, doesn’t it?  The strong trying to wipe out the weak for some crazy reason.  

Now back to Saul.  He had just received his letter of approval to start rounding up people for slaughter.  He was on the road (with two other thugs in training) when all of a sudden an intense light flashed, knocking him to the ground.  When the dust settled he found himself to be blind and groping around for something to hold onto.  His companions could still see, so it seems this encounter was specifically directed at Saul.

Then a voice spoke to him and asked why he was persecuting.  Saul asked “is that you Lord?”  He said “yes, it is Jesus who you are persecuting.”

Say what?!!  Can it be true that if you are a violent criminal which preys on weaker people, you are actually doing so against the Lord?

So here’s what happened next.  Jesus told him to get up and go to a specific house and meet a certain man named Anninias. Then Anninias would pray so his eye sight would return.

One minute he’s all powerful chasing scared people all over the city, and in a flash he can’t even see his hand in front of his face, and now taking directions from the very people he was harming.

Now, It would be nice if Jesus would show up at all these evil occurances, and blind the evil right out of people, but it may be that he wants us to handle things. Either way, it does not hurt to be prepared.

My take away is, we need to be very aware of our surroundings and the people in them.  Be “Prepared and aware”, so if someone intends harm, they get what they deserve.  Afterward if they have a genuine change of heart, there may be room for redemption.

But that’s Gods job, isn’t it?  Ours is to protect our loved ones at all cost.

The whole story about Saul can be read in Acts 9:1-31

You make me so mad!

Really, I make you mad???

mad scientist drawn by User:J.J

 It’s a simple and very common phrase, but holds profound implications for our future peace of mind.

 Is it possible for one person to force another person to feel a certain way without an express or implied approval… on your part?

 How often have you heard (or said), “you make me so mad!“?
If we really have that kind of power over each other, then I want to run a simple test….

 Everyone reading this, send me $100.00 right now… Go ahead and write the check and mail it…. Hmmm, seems I can’t force you to send me your hard earned money, how could I make you to change your hard earned thoughts?

 It may be that, some people ignore their responsibilities (to be accountable) for their own thoughts, feelings and actions… only to put them on other people by saying “you make me…”  Honestly, do you really believe other people can MAKE you mad?

 Sure, sometimes people can do some really stupid stuff, but its not yours to deal with… unless you choose it to be…. then yes, other people can make you mad.

 The downfall is, you have now given them power over you.  Unless they show up with a picture ID proving they are God… You should not be giving any power (to anyone) over yourself.

It’s just a matter of only letting quality product (information) into your soul.  When I eat good food, I feel better.  When I think good thoughts, the same thing happens.

Proverbs 23:7 (says in part) “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”

We have the option to choose what we let in…. just make sure it’s good stuff.

Tranquil Photo by PelionClimber

So, the next time you feel compelled to say “You make me so mad!”, take a deep breath, relax and think…. what are you allowing into your life to change your thoughts or feelings.

Mmm yeah, Its hard work, but worth it.

Comments or thoughts??