I’m pretty worn out. It’s been a long, busy week already and I’m tired.... and it’s just Tuesday. And the more tired and worn out I am, the easier it seems for me to be able to focus on the negative and the junk of the world. And when I get home, all I want to do is take off my uniform of the day, put on my sweats and a t-shirt and close my eyes... and just sort of escape.
I’ve been reading in Ephesians lately, especially reading through Ephesians 4:17-5:2 where it discusses how we should live after we have become a Believer... a Follower of Jesus.
And it’s not focusing on the negative and the junk, mind you…
According to the text, as Believers (whether new or one who has been a Believer for a long time) we must take off the old and put on the new as if we were taking off old clothes and putting on a new outfit.
Take off falsehoods & lies and put on the truth- 4:25. That is, stop lying and tell the truth to your neighbors, friends, family, fellow believers. To grow the church as a whole, it begins with honesty… with truth to one another.
Take off anger and put on the grace of Jesus - 4:26-27 & 31-32. That is, when you are angry, do not sin... and then deal with that anger before sunset. Even Jesus got angry (a righteous indignation) but He did not sin in that anger.
Take off stealing and selfishness and put on hard work and sharing- 4:28. The route of stealing tends to be selfishness. That is looking out for ourselves first and foremost. Stealing can be as subtle as wasting time when you should be working (stealing time) or as bold as truly stealing/taking from others. Put on hard work and share with those in need.
Take off unwholesome talk and put on an uplifting spirit - 4:29-30. That is, stop trash talking. Stop tearing down others with your tongue. Stop the foul language and the negative talk. And become fluent in speaking the language of grace and love and hope and peace.
One of our goals as Believers should be to bless God and glorify Him through our actions and our words.
Taking off the old and dirty... and putting on the new and the clean.
Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” - Ephesians 4:25 - 5:2 NIV