“Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him.” — C. S. Lewis
Be Quiet. Sit still and silent for 3 minutes. Let your mind be aware that God is present with you. When you get distracted, don’t fight with yourself. Simply turn your thoughts again to Him. Imagine the delight your Father feels because you showed-up to be with Him! Breathe slowly and relax.
Scripture. “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 4:22-24
Meditation. Paul the Apostle was led along by the Holy Spirit as he wrote a letter to the startup church in Ephesus. In 4:22-24 He describes the process of transformation in 3 movements. Couple this with Romans 6:3-7 and we see that “Put off your old self” and “put on the new self” are completed actions. In the waters of Baptism, the old self is drowned and stripped off like dirty clothes. All the distorted norms, false beliefs and self-gratifying habits of the past are crucified, dead and buried with Christ. Simultaneously, our new self is brought to life because Christ was resurrected to life. We’re set free, no longer slaves to sin. This is why grace is so amazing!
“To be made new in the attitude of our minds” is the part of the process that requires our active participation with God so that our inner thoughts and attitudes get renewed. With the power of the Holy Spirit, a praying community, and spiritual practices that position us to receive God’s grace, transformation actually happens. True righteousness and holiness will manifest bit-by-bit in our lifestyle.
“Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him.” C. S. Lewis
Question to Ponder. What manifestations of true righteousness and holiness will you determine to “put-on” in the upcoming season of your growth? (Ephesians 4:25-32)
Select one and look to God for strength.
- Telling the truth (Put-off lies, pretense, covering up)
- Self-control (Put-off allowing anger to make a home in your heart)
- Useful work that provides for you so you can be generous to others (Put-off stealing, milking, laziness and tight-fistedness)
- Speech that benefits the listener. (Put-off insults, criticism, gossip, slander, crude humor, snarky remarks)
- Kindness, compassion, forgiveness (Put-off grieving the Spirit with bitterness, malice, rage)
Connect with God. Write a letter of intent to God about the true righteousness you want to put-on. Express gratitude for the profound grace He gave you in Baptism.
Connect with Others. Read your letter of intent to a praying friend who will encourage your efforts and your reliance on the Spirit’s power to help you.