Do we look any different than the world? As Christians, are we recognized for our love of others? The scripture teaches we are to be radically changed by the love of God that has been poured into our hearts. Are we? I’m not so sure.
As I read the words of Paul to the Ephesians, I am convicted. Does the old man still rear his ugly head? We’ve been told to lay him aside and to put on the new man. The new man is to look different.
You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.
Therefore, having laid aside falsehood, each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger. Do not give the devil an opportunity.
The one who steals must steal no longer; rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one who has need.
You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it may give grace to those who hear.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk.
Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.
So I’m wondering, how is it that we grieve the Holy Spirit? In this passage the way we deal with others is evidence of the Holy Spirit within. Our treatment of others is the first sign to them of a changed life.
Do we tell the truth?
Are we tangibly compassionate?
Do our tempers take over?
Are we quarrelsome?
Do we gossip?
Are we recognized for our bitterness?
Jesus said the mouth speaks from what fills the heart.
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart,
and these things defile a person. ~Matthew 15:18
Are we truly different?