Note from Shirley: This coming Sunday (22nd September), the Southern Hemisphere celebrates Spring Day, while the Northern Hemisphere heads into Fall (aka Autumn). Hmmm. This is also my birthday. What fun!
Whichever hemisphere you live in, Yvonne Ortega's message is relevant for you today.
Since I was a child, I remember every spring my mother and aunts would clean out closets and drawers, wash the blinds, and clean the carpet and drapes. They referred to their work as spring-cleaning.
The Bible talks about spiritual cleaning, which can be done during any season of the year not only in the spring.
My mom used to tell me that we couldn’t buy new clothes or other new items until we eliminated the old ones.
It’s the same way in our spiritual life. Before we can “put on the new self,” we need to “put off [the] old self” (verse 22). We throw out those old things that don’t go with our new life as Christians.
According to Ephesians 4:25-31, the old things are falsehood, unwholesome talk, giving the devil a foothold, stealing, grieving the Holy Spirit, bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and every form of malice.
When we spring-clean in our gardens, we pull out the weeds, rake the fallen leaves and make room for the new flowers to come in.
When we do spiritual spring-cleaning and put off the old self, we “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” We bloom in godliness.
What does it mean to put on the new self? According to Ephesians 4:24-32, we tell the truth and build others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen. We work with our own hands that we may have something to share with those in need. We are “kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave [us].”
Dear God, please show me the things from my old self I need to put off. Amen.
Over to you: What will you put on this week that goes with your new self?
Yvonne Ortega is a counselor, international bilingual speaker, trainer and eleven-year breast cancer survivor. She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer (Revell) and a contributing author to The Embrace of a Father (Bethany House) and Transformed (Wine Press). She has also been published in several magazines online and hard copy.
Yvonne hosted a blogtalkradio program on breast cancer, addiction, domestic violence, and other types of trauma. Archives are available. Visit her website