I often hear the term, “Pay it forward.” So, what does it mean to “pay it forward?” How can a person with humble, possibly evil, beginnings “pay forward” the amazing powers of God? Here is an example of how God can use anyone as an example of His powers of transformation.
As a dedicated member of the Ku Klux Klan, Thomas A. Tarrants was involved in over thirty bombings of homes, churches, and synagogues. He was sentenced to a 30-year prison term in Mississippi. While serving his sentence, Tom began to read the Bible, discover the love of God in Jesus Christ, and become convicted of what a sinner he was. He renounced racism and hatred. And then he cried out for the mercy of God in Jesus Christ and received salvation and forgiveness. Paroled a few years later, Thomas attended college and then seminary. Eventually, he became an ordained pastor because he wanted to share what Christ can do in a transformed life. And then, until 2010, the most unlikely candidate of all was President of the C.S. Lewis Institute in Washington, D.C., and now serves as their Director of Ministry, where Thomas continues to remind people of the amazing power of Jesus to transform a life.
Through the testimony of Thomas Tarrants, we get to see the embodiment of God’s love in the flesh, in the body of Christ, because someone who was once filled with hate is now filled with love. That is receiving the blessing and that, my friends, is paying it forward.