By: Alisha Headley
“Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and…be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and…put on your new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness .” – Ephesians 4:22-24
I’m a tidy person most of the time, but when it comes to my closet, I never throw anything out. My hope is that they will come back in style one day, and I’ll be ready to throw on the most recent fashion trend. Some of them are just so old and worn, that I have no business wearing them any longer. Yet I struggle to get rid of them because they fit me so comfortably, they feel so natural.
Sometimes lifestyle habits and choices are the same.
You may have indulged in a habit for so long that it becomes a part of who you are. It’s become a comfortable outfit for you. Perhaps you are an angry person or struggle with comparing yourself to every person you meet. Or maybe you are impatient with your kids, and you react to stress poorly. You’ve always handled yourself this way. You don’t know any other way. You’ve just accepted it’s ‘who you are’, as it tends to be your most natural outfit.
These sinful habits actually have the potential to become part of your old life when you become a Christian. The beauty of becoming a believer, is you don’t have to be wearing the same outdated, out-of-style outfits you once did. Putting off old habits especially ones that you are used to wearing won’t be easy, but by the Holy Spirit, it can be done.
In today’s Scripture, Paul spoke to the believers in the Ephesian culture. In their day, part of the initiation process for a person involved in their pagan religion was to remove and discard their old clothing, signifying a total break with any previous association. So, when Paul implored the Christians to “put off their old clothing”, he wasn’t just talking about their actual clothing each day. He was emphasizing the action of rejecting behaviors that were indicative of their old self, those that did not align with walking with the Lord.
To continue and take steps towards obedience and walking with God, we need to daily rid ourselves of those pieces of clothing that are no longer serving us. Whether it’s habits, lusts, friendships, or associations we are involved in, Paul encourages us to then “put on” our new self.
Put on attributes that align with the heart of Christ and watch the Holy Spirit as He works in removing what was always a comfortable yet old outfit for you
Allow the Holy Spirit’s power to help you begin to let out with the old, and in with the new.
Thank you that you want us to live in freedom. That just because we have lived a certain way with a certain habit or sin our entire life, that it doesn’t define us forever. Thank you that when we become believers and followers of you, that we can “put off the old man,” the old lustful things of our flesh, and “put on the new man,” pursuing a lifestyle of holiness and righteousness.
Through the Holy Spirit’s empowering, we are able to renew our minds day by day and clothe ourselves in purity. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit and for the power you have given us. We ask that you renew our mind and prompt us of anything that we are hanging onto in our former life that is hindering us from walking closely with you in our new life. We love you Lord and we thank you for freeing us of all our old. We gladly invite the new in through you.
In Jesus’ Name,