Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Putting things off...

. . . is generally thought to be a bad practice. You remember the old saying: "Don't put off till tomorrow what can be done today." But after reading Ephesians 4:21-24 you will agree that some things should be put off.
If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Having completed the final chapter of Changed into His Image by Dr. Jim Berg, a friend and I are now working through the Appendix. That's not usually a very interesting activity, but this time it was different. On page 297, the author includes a section about "Becoming God's Kind of Person." The one-page handout explains three steps to follow according to this passage: (1) put off the old man, (2) be renewed in your mind, and (3) put on the new man.

What caught my attention was the explanation of the second step: Be renewed in your mind. Berg says, "Write out below the verses that show God's viewpoint about the issues you have identified in Step 1. You must meditate upon them in order to have a renewed mind." I guess I'm a bit dense, but I hadn't really thought about how the renewal was to take place.

That idea makes sense. As I meditate on Scripture and accept what it says, my thinking will be renewed. In other words, I should be "transformed by the renewing of [my] mind, that [I] may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:2). That is the only way I will be changed into Christlikeness.

But, as G.I. Joe always said, "Knowing is the half the battle." Now it's time to make the application.

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