Read: Ephesians 4:17-24
You were taught to put away your former way of life. (v. 22 NRSV)
Paul’s words in Ephesians continually invite us to die to some of the things that we want most in the present. While we may desire a nicer car, covet a better paying job, or crave a picture-perfect family, Paul challenges us to something different. He challenges us to act differently, but he also wants us to change how we value things. He challenges us to rethink about what we consider good, right, and holy.
The command to “put away your former way of life” calls us to turn from sin, but also to change the way we think about ourselves. This means putting away our feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and any negative perceptions about our appearance, anything not rooted in Christ. It is a call to put away our hatred towards other people, to put away those negative stereotypes about people who don’t look or talk like we do.
It is a call to “clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24 NRSV). This is a call to see yourself, not in the ways of the world, but in the way God views you, as an entirely new creation. You are now clothed in Christ.
Knowing this, you are free to love. You can “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31) because, through Christ, you are redeemed, righteous, and holy. —Ben Aguilera
Prayer: Holy Spirit, strip me of my old self and give me the strength to clothe myself with the new self found in you. Amen.