“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”
When we become Christians the process is dramatic and radical. It is never seen to be a casual, loose or arms-length arrangement. Jesus refers to it as being ‘born again.’ (John 3:3). Paul here speaks of it as putting off the old self and putting on the new. It is not a mere cloaking of the unpleasant parts of our lives with an attractive outer covering. It involves a throwing off of our old humanity, with its attitudes and practices, like a rotten garment – and replacing it with something completely different and special.
Whilst this takes place initially at our conversion and acceptance of Christ the outworking of it is a life-long process. We continue to live in a fallen world and amongst those who live fallen lives. The temptations we face are very real and we are still vulnerable to our human shortcomings and weaknesses. And as we continue with the Lord we will find that He brings to our notice attitudes and areas of our lives which still need attention. They need to be claimed for Him, cleansed with Him and surrendered to Him.
We are not alone in this journey and process. The Lord is with us and the Holy Spirit is within us. There is no doubt in this regard because Jesus has been quite definite in His teaching. Our frequent error is in trying to battle things through on our own instead of asking God continually for help and covering ourselves and our weaknesses in prayer. The garbage in our lives needs to be dealt with because it stands in the way of a full relationship with the Lord, of an open relationship with ourselves, of our God-given ministry and of our peace and potential.
Ask God to show you some of the baggage that needs to be discarded.
Lord, You are my strength and my song, and You have become my salvation. Help me to step away from all that discolours my life with You, and into the new life You have prepared for me. Amen.