Day 21 | A new me
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 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.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
At its heart, the joy of Christmas is the joy of what's to come: what's made possible by Jesus's life on Earth, leading up to his death and resurrection. As we count down to the big day, we'll finish by reflecting on the amazing future Jesus' birth opens up.
Sitting in an airport coffee shop waiting to go through to departures, I was drawn into the dénouement of a tragic domestic drama.
Stereotypical-Barbie thin and extravagantly dressed up, a woman leaned over to me conspiratorially and announced that the poor man opposite her was no good for new, improved, glamorous her. Once she boarded her flight, he would be her ex-husband, never to be seen again.
When she went to the toilet, her husband then turned to me and told me that 10 years into their marriage, the woman he'd fallen in love with as a teenager had decided to transform herself. He said it was the old her he grieved; that he had lost his wife long before this moment.
People can change. It is entirely possible to 'put off your old self.' In this case, it definitely seemed to be for the worse – but it can also be for the better.
Whether we're brand new Christians or growing in maturity, it's a matter of discipline to avoid being 'corrupted by deceitful desires.' Those desires persist, but with a new 'attitude of mind' and the help of the Holy Spirit, we can live as righteous and holy versions of ourselves. This means knowing Jesus and what he taught and moment by moment in each day, choosing to live in light of the truth he has revealed.
Father God, I want to be recognizably your child. Help me grow up into the identity you have given me – greatly loved and created to be holy.