Growing in Truth
Jogging down the hill, the sunrise peeked through the trees. The neighbor's dog barked as I ran past, and the breeze carried a scent of freshly cut grass. Glancing at the side of our house, I gasped.
What was on the side of our house? Mud?
Wiping the sweat off my forehead and walking closer, I studied the life-size stick figure and shuttered.
Who spray painted the side of our house? How are we going to get it off!?
At breakfast, everyone remained clueless about the graffiti even though we found a spray can in the garage!
The following day the child confessed that he chalk painted our walls surrounding our African house for fun so he thought spray painting our American house would be ok:)
I explained that was not true.
As we mature, certain childish behaviors cease while we implement responsible behaviors. The same should be true in our Christian lives. Growth results when we discard the old ways and embrace the new ways.
What actions or attitudes do we need to put off to grow spiritually?
"Since you have HEARD about JESUS and have LEARNED the TRUTH that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the SPIRIT RENEW your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy."
Ephesians 4:21-24 NLT
We learn the TRUTH of God's Word and apply it by RENEWING our minds with Scripture.
Then we put off and put on. (Taken from Ephesians 4:25-32)
PUT OFF: PUT ON:
Stop Lying Speak Truth
Harboring bitterness Handling conflict
Don't Stealing Do Work Hard
Hurtful Words Helpful Words
Some old ways may feel acceptable, but our standard has be the TRUTH of God's Word.
I justify unkindness to someone unkind to me, but God challenges me to love my neighbor and my enemy (Matthew 5:43-48).
I hid bitterness in my heart believing I'm not hurting anyone, but God's Word says it spreads and causes damage (Hebrews 12:15).
I yell unkind words at my kids, but I need to ask the Lord to help me speak kind words.
Spiritual growth results from PUTTING OFF the old and PUTTING ON the new.
Just as spray painting a life-sized figure isn't acceptable, certain actions and attitudes hinder our spiritual growth. Knowing the TRUTH and applying it helps us be more like Christ.
The graffiti eventually came off after ordering several different cleaners and lots of elbow grease:). My child learned a valuable lesson, and I was reminded how damaging and difficult sin can be to remove in my life. I need to constantly saturate myself with the TRUTH of God's Word and RENEW my mind.