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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Replace Your Old Self

As followers of Jesus, we're not to live like the rest of the world. Every aspect of our lives is to be markedly different, because we are no longer captive to our sin.

All of which sounds very nice, but how do we practically live out that truth in daily life?

Unrelated dish cloth picture. They just looked so pretty all folded with the sunshine on them.

After Paul describes the way of life he sees in the Gentiles (which sounds pretty close to the way of life we can see in the culture around us today), he reminds us that we're different.

"You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. "- Ephesians 4:20-24

Instead of being enslaved by sin, with its corrupting ways that infiltrate every part of us, we're to be taught in truth.

We've been amazingly forgiven! 

Now we have a relationship with Christ- we get to know him! Doesn't that make you feel so humbled and yet so overjoyed?

Now that we've been forgiven, now that we've been freed and saved, our lifestyle will change. We aren't changing our behavior in order that we might be saved, but because we have been saved already.

So we remove our old selves. I think it's interesting that Paul says that my old self was "corrupted by deceitful desires." Those old desires of mine- they were deceptive. Lying to me. That's what sin does, you know. It lies. Sin promises fulfillment and never delivers. Now that I've been saved, now that my identity is found in Christ, there's no place for those lies.

We love dear friends who bring us wild asparagus

Instead, I'm to be made new in the attitude of my mind. Our perspectives change. Our desires change. And we put on our new self.

There seems to be a feeling that our "new self" is another way of saying "boring self" or "completely not-like-me-anymore self."

I think that's the wrong way to look at it. After all, each of us has been created with our own passions and personalities, interests and dreams. I don't think that those are taken from us through salvation. Rather, I think they're enhanced. We're more purely ourselves without sin dampening our spirits. Following Christ doesn't make us boring- after all, didn't he say that he came so we might have life to the fullest?

Now, when you remove your old self, you need to be sure to replace it.

It seems simple, but just think about the last time you tried to break a bad habit. For me, a bad habit of mine is biting my nails. I haven't yet been able to do it- I get close, but then I slip up. I can't change it because I rarely take the time to replace my nail biting with something else.

Changing a lifestyle from an "old," sinful means you have to replace it with a new, vibrant, truth-filled one. Take a hard look at habits and patterns of the past, and replace them. Change your attitudes, your schedules, the way you talk to yourself, the way you deal with conflicts, how you approach relationships.

Now that you know Christ, live a lifestyle so that you may grow in him. 

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