Take off the Old, Put on the New
By Rick Warren
“Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires . . . be made new in the attitude of your minds; and . . . put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
If you want to have lasting change in your life, you have to start with your body—and your mind is part of your body. So, to change your life, you have to change the way you think.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (NIV). That word “transformed” in the Greek is the word we get “metamorphosis” from. Metamorphosis is what happens when a caterpillar changes into a butterfly.
When a caterpillar wraps itself in a cocoon, it eventually comes out. But it’s been transformed—not into a better version of a caterpillar, but into a totally different creature. That’s not improvement. That’s radical transformation! And only God can do that.
Radical transformation is what God wants for you, too. You can turn over a new leaf on your own, but only God can give you a new life. He does this by renewing your mind.
Ephesians 4:22-24 says, “Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires . . . be made new in the attitude of your minds; and . . . put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (NIV).
Notice that there’s a putting off and a putting on. The health of your mind really comes down to stopping some stuff you need to stop doing and starting some stuff you need to start doing. Stop putting negative, hurtful things into your mind. Start watching and listening to things that make you more like Christ.
In the renewal of your mind, you’ve got to put off before you can put on. Let’s say you go to a store to look for a new coat. You find one to try on. But if you’re wearing a coat already, you have to take off the old one before you put on the new one.
That’s also true spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Look at the verses from Ephesians 2 again. The Bible says, “Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.” The “old self” is the impulses and compulsions that pull you the wrong direction.
Then you need to “be made new in the attitude of your minds.” Attitudes are kind of like diapers. You’ve got to change them every once in a while, or they start stinking.
Only after you’ve put off your old self and old attitudes can you “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Do you need change in your life today? Remember that a changed life begins with a changed mind.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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