I recently gave my life to Jesus, which was a miracle because I've lived like the devil most of my life. My question is this: Should I try and go back and straighten out some of the things I did wrong? I know I've hurt a lot of people, and I feel bad about it. — D.R.
Yes, I would strongly encourage you to try to right any wrongs from your past. This isn't always possible, I know, but it's important that you make the attempt, and you will be honoring God by your efforts.
Do you remember Zacchaeus? He was a tax collector for the Romans, a position that often led to dishonesty and cheating. But when Zacchaeus came to Jesus, he vowed to make restitution for his wrongs—in fact, far beyond what the law commanded: "If I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount" (Luke 19:8). The Old Testament law repeatedly said that someone who had harmed another person or damaged their property "must make full restitution for his wrong" (Numbers 5:7).
At the same time, ask God to help you make clear why you're no longer the person you once were. Christ has changed your life—and that makes all the difference! Many of your friends may think that what you're doing doesn't make any sense—but that's because they are still like you once were. They need Christ, and God wants to use you to tell them about His transforming power.
Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). A changed life is the most powerful sermon most of us will ever preach. God bless you as you seek to live for Christ.