Out With the Old

“Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it!” Ephesians 4:22 (MSG)

My daughter has made it clear – we will wait until January 1st to put away the Christmas tree and decorations! Personally, I have the time today so I would rather do it and get it over with. You see, when we put away the decorations from the season, we do a thorough cleaning before putting back the everyday décor. Cleaning up is never as much fun as decorating and to see it sitting there, needing to be done, is difficult.

Another piece to the switching out of décor is the decision of whether we pack the item away for next year or get rid of it. Some items are old and don’t really fit our style anymore. Some items have a story or memory so we wrestle with the emotional attachment to the item and have to decide if it’s worth the space in our storage room. What’s the easiest thing to do in this situation? Pack it and decide to decide next year. So it sits, packed away, taking up space and waiting for us to deal with another day.

“Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go.” Hebrews 12:1a (CEV)

Unfortunately, I know I do this same thing too often with my attitude and behavior. I know the things in my life that I need to change because they really don’t fit who I am anymore in Christ, and yet, there is a memory attached so I choose to hold on a little longer.

There may have been good friends and fun times associated with certain behaviors and to, once in a while, pull them out, dust them off and relive the old is a way to reconnect to some people I miss. Maybe there is someone with whom I am still upset and to consider forgiving and throwing away the anger seems to justify what they’ve done and I’m not yet ready to let them off the hook. Maybe my future in this new way of life just seems uncertain, bigger than me, so it’s easier to stay in the comfort of the old, holding back because I know once I choose to go forward there really is no going back. Getting rid of the old feels like it will leave a big empty space.

But God in His goodness will fill that space if we turn to Him.

“And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.” Ephesians 4:23-24 (MSG)

Once we choose to rid ourselves of the old ways, we make room for God to fill us with His ways. That empty space is a clean slate for God to reproduce His character and attitude in us. He will not leave us empty. On the contrary, He will fill us to overflowing!

Something to Consider…

Is there something new you want to do but you’re not experiencing success? Do you want to move forward but for some reason you feel stuck? There may be something in your life still taking up space, not allowing the new to take hold.

Ask God to help you recognize those attitudes and behaviors that need to go and then allow Him to fill that space and do a new work inside you.

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