I’m not perfect. And I think if you’re honest, you’ll agree that you aren’t either. By nature, humans are full of sin, and we need Jesus to make a way for us to be with God.

But living for God isn’t always easy.  Our human nature constantly fights against the work the Holy Spirit does in us.  And I don’t know about you, but often I try to not do wrong by just trying not to.  I know what I shouldn’t do so I try to avoid falling into old habits. Eventually though, I fall back into those habits, beat myself up for messing up, and then try not to again. What am I doing wrong? It turns out, I may be only halfway there.

Here’s what Ephesians 4:22-24 says:

“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.”

Too often we try to complete the process with only the first half. We try to “put off [our] old self”. But we forget to “put on the new self”.  We try to break old habits without building the new ones.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to stop doing wrong. But if we don’t replace it with something, what’s left?

Instead, the Bible calls us to be “filled with the Spirit”.  Instead of reading stuff online all day, we spend time reading the Bible. Instead of criticizing others, we work to encourage them. Instead of filling our day with unimportant things, we spend time throughout the day praying.  The putting off may be a great start, but it’s the putting on that truly changes our lives.

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