Our small group was recounting the story of Paul's conversion last night. It was striking how the church struggled to accept him after his attacks on the early Christians. Undoubtedly, they were skeptical of his conversion. They were assuredly frightened by the prospect of this Christian killer. What was he up to? Was his new found faith genuine? Was this some kind of a trap? Unlike many who stayed away from Paul, a brave man named Barnabas stepped in to bridge the gap. He vouched for Paul and helped him find his place in the fellowship of believers.
It made me wonder have we ever been suspect of someone coming into the church? Have you questioned someone's conversion? Ever been skeptical of someone's motives? Most of us could probably answer yes to all of these. It's natural to be skeptical. It's normal to take someone's past into account as you relate to them presently. It might even be wise to proceed cautiously at times. But we never cry foul at who Christ lets into his church. We can't. We must not. My experience is that there are people whose motives are impure and conversions are phony...but they'll get found out. In the mean time you love them, and work for their success...like Barnabas!
Read the Bible in One Year Plan: Esther 1-5