Last Tuesday, Ron Artest was named the best citizen in the NBA. Artest, who just a few years ago was one of the main participants in the most notorious brawl in NBA history, was awarded the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for outstanding service and dedication to the community. He was given the award because of his work promoting mental health awareness.
Even Artest seemed surprised to be given the honor. He said, “There’s been ups and downs, a real roller coaster ride, but this is one of the times you look back and say it was all worth it.”
The kingdom of God is filled with people who have changed. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”—1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
We should thank God that, through Jesus, it’s possible to change. Every time we look in the mirror.