I was recently combing through my closet and found a stack of jeans that I’ve been holding onto. Now, these particular jeans were ones I’d owned for maybe five to ten years, and I had been holding onto them assuming (and hoping) that one day, they would fit me as they once did.
But the truth was, my body had changed (a lot) in those five to ten years. And changed in ways that were permanent. There was no going back to the shape and form and height it used to be. And these old pairs of pants I had been holding onto because I liked the way they looked and felt on the body I used to have, no longer served this new body that I live in today. So, reluctantly, I tossed them. Out with the old, in with the new.
As I reflect on today’s passage and the idea of “laying aside the old man” and “putting on the new man,” I recognize that there are still areas of my life where I am trying to fit my new self into my old jeans.
There are ways in which I used to live prior to being sanctified by Christ which I still tend to try to fit into my new life in Christ.
I find my people-pleasing tendencies that once characterized my life tempting to influence my behaviors. I’m prone to fall into gossip rather than honoring God with my speech. I choose to be liked and amiable rather than speak the truth in love or share the gospel. I can fall into despair in trials and suffering rather than hoping and trusting in God.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you may read those examples and think they are “minor offenses.” It is easy for me to justify these as just small things that could be much worse. But sin is often a slow drift. And the enemy often chooses subtle ways to draw our focus away from living righteous lives until we eventually find ourselves in an unrecognizable place and have no idea how we got there.
The truth is, these were the ways of the old me, but I have a new life in Christ. I’m called to completely put away the old self and put on the new self, the one characterized by the righteousness of Christ.
“God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.”
– 2 Corinthians 5:21
Christ became the sin of our old selves so that, through having faith in Him, we could become our new selves, the righteousness of God. And all that is required is faith.
By having faith in Christ, we have access to our breastplate of righteousness.
Christ in us allows us to completely toss out the old jeans that no longer serve us in this new life in Christ and to put on the breastplate of righteousness so that we may walk in a manner worthy of the gospel.
Let’s pray today that God would show us any old ways that we are still trying to fit into this new life with Christ.
Let’s ask Him to help us completely rid ourselves of these old ways, and for the discipline to daily wear our breastplate of righteousness so that we may live lives of righteousness and holiness.
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