“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.” Eph. 4:22-24 (NIV)
We learned Monday that when we come to true faith in Jesus Christ, we become new creatures. However, it doesn’t take long for us to realize that even though we can sense some positive changes, we can also sense there are old habits that remain.
We are new…yet we still retain strong echoes of the old.
Another thing we notice as new believers is that the new is battling against the old. Before coming to faith in Christ, we simply followed our old nature without resistance. Now that we have the Holy Spirit within us, a fight has erupted.
This ongoing internal struggle is a sign of true faith, not an indictment against it.
Paul states that our responsibility within this new battle is to “put off” our old self,
or as some versions translate…our flesh.
To put off our old self…we must first learn to identify it!
Our old self consists of everything that pushes our own agenda. It is our self-centered motivations and emotions that result in actions that are self-protective.
It is the ego in its purest form.
It is the part of us that strives for “me” not “He”.
Once we identify it, Paul tells us we are to actively “put it off”.
We each have “old self” reasons for entering and staying within the field of medicine. We may crave the status it provides us or we may be pulled by the material rewards of medicine.
Whatever our “old self” draws that led us into medicine, it is important that we begin to recognize those motivations, and then actively put them off by placing them under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
We are to resist them…fight against them and allow the Holy Spirit to have His way.
It is a difficult battle.
We are literally fighting against ourselves.
But it must be done if we want to become more like Jesus.
Prayer: Lord show me my old self and help me put it off.