Friday, April 23, 2021

Dying to the Old Life


"Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life."

2 Corinthians 5:14 NLT

In what ways have you died to the old life you used to live? I can look back over my life and see how God has helped me die to the way I used to do things. Here are a couple examples:

When I got married, I started realizing how selfish I was in hidden ways. I had to die to self and grow in grace many times in my 20 years of marriage.

When I became a parent, I began changing what media I consumed. I realized that if I didn't want certain things entering my children's minds, they also didn't belong in mine. I had to die to content that I'd used for a long time.

Dying to our old lives is a process, not a usually one-time decision. Maybe you or someone you knew had a dramatic, Saul-like conversion from a blatantly sinful lifestyle. This does happen, but it's not the norm, at least in my observation.

Maybe you’ve been a Christian all your life, but as you’ve grown in your faith, your conscience has been pricked and you don’t do the same things anymore.  

Perhaps you gave up toxic friendships. Maybe you catch yourself before your conversation turns to gossip. Maybe you've changed your social activities, clothes you wear or movies you watch.

Whatever it is, if you’re already doing something different than before, it’s probably because you’re being made more like Christ. But if you’re resisting the temptation to return to a worldly lifestyle, you must rely on Jesus to provide the help you need, because you can't make it on your own (I know, because I've tried).

It’s risky to rely on willpower, because we’re all naturally bent toward sin. Through prayer, you can ask God to help you become less like the world and more like Jesus today.  He will always answer that prayer in a practical way, if you are willing to accept his help.

The world needs to see more salt-and-light-filled Christians (see Matthew 5:13-16).  It’s important that if you call yourself a follower of Jesus, your lifestyle is different from that of the world.  

If your lifestyle hasn’t become more holy as your faith has grown, ask God to examine your heart and show you ways that you can die to any habits that aren’t Christlike. 

Your lifestyle could have an eternal impact on the people who know you, so consider this question again:  in what ways have you died to the old life you used to live? And, how can you thank God for the ways he's already transformed you?

Check out another post/video on self-examination HERE.

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Have a blessed weekend!

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