“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.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV
A new person is birthed in you when you receive Jesus or even as you come to a new level in Him as a born again believer. However, there still remains a memory of who you were before and that can often confuse your soul into thinking that you are still the same.
If we look at the life cycle of a butterfly again, research has shown that even a butterfly has a memory of its behaviour when it was a caterpillar. Even though it has obviously undergone huge transformation, the memories of the past will continue to draw it back into old default patterns.
So the same is for us. However, the Bible gives us some instruction in how to continue to live as a new person once that transformation work has happened in your life. Take this example from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians- a church that was really struggling to decipher between who they were before and who they needed to become:
““I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.”
1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV
I was thinking about this today as I was boarding my plane. It illustrates the whole process of crossing over into this new life you’ve been given:
When we board a plane to go overseas, there is a point in the airport where you have to leave behind certain items. Items that might cause a threat on your travels, materials that might carry diseases into new territory, or drugs that are illegal in other continents.
Even though the land you’re coming FROM might have accepted these items as useful and permissible, the new land you’re going TO demands that you rid yourself of the things that the government of that land doesn’t deem lawful (for whatever reason that might be.)
Even though it is hard to let things go and leave them behind, if you fully embrace the life that is waiting for you in the new land, you’ll find that you won’t need those things you left behind for very long.
Perhaps the thing that you’re doing isn’t necessarily destroying your life-your addiction, your unhealthy relationship, or your illustrious spending. Maybe, that thing is just the thing that you are using to medicate what’s going on inside, which is what’s ultimately destroying your life. Things like bitterness and hurt, unforgiveness and undealt with trauma.
No matter how that pain was caused, Jesus wants to heal our broken hearts. He saw it all, was broken for you and knows the person you were before that happened. But He can’t do a work in our hearts as long as we are medicating it with a counterfeit solution.
In order for Him to do a full, complete work, we have to surrender all of our self-diagnosing, self-medicating, self-sabotaging ways.
Though we may think we need to take those things into the new life with us, if we trust Him completely, He will show us that we don’t. How does He do that? By becoming every thing that we need.
Jesus is a trustworthy friend. We can trust Him with our secrets and we can trust Him with our hearts. Do you trust Him enough to let go of the things He is asking you to let go of this year? You know what they are. If you don’t, someone close to you might be able to give you a clue.
Jesus, thank you that you love me. Thank you that you see my broken heart and you see the way that I’ve tried to fix it. Give me the strength I need to let go of those things that are getting in the way of your truth. Help me to stop self-medicating and to step out in new levels of trust in you. Thank you for being trustworthy. Thank you for being my friend. In Jesus name, Amen.