“Change is not change until it’s changed.”
The idea of change is prevalent in our society. Some people are open to the idea of change, others like to hold onto the same ideas, theologies, and ways of life and are not proponents of change. As Christians, followers of Jesus, we are called to be the likeness of Jesus. That’s what it means to be a “Christian”. The suffix “ian” means “to be like”. Now that we are reborn and new creatures, we are called to be like Jesus. And, being like Jesus will require us to change.
“That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
There should be a difference in the old you and the new you.
And, it has nothing to do with what clothes you wear, how long your hair is, if you wear jewelry or makeup, or have piercings or tattoos. The change of a life in Christ comes from within. God’s Holy Spirit now dwells in you. He gives you the power to love people, even people who you might not have been able to stand in the same room with before, He will now empower you to love. He gives you the power to be kind, and gentle. To be giving. And, He gives you the freedom to not be bound by sin.
But, you and I must be willing participants if change is to take place. God does not rip away all your old lusts, desires, thoughts, feelings, and actions. Notice the scripture above says “that you put off”. It’s up to you, and me, to make decisions on a daily basis that we now know to be the right choice because God’s Holy Spirit is guiding us and leading us to be like Christ. We used to hear a lot of the term WWJD, What Would Jesus Do. And, while it might not always be easy, seem practical, or be what we want, we will feel the nudge of Holy Spirit leading us to react differently, to act in love and kindness instead of rage and anger. Following His leading brings about a changed lifestyle. When He directs us to not go to the bar or club, or not to hang out with rowdy or mean friends any longer, we follow Him little by little, day by day, and we find ourselves living a changed lifestyle. People notice a difference in us, in our words, our actions, and our behavior. But, it requires our willingness to be humble and submissive and obey Holy Spirit.
There will be times you want to talk, act, think, or behave like you did before you were saved. That doesn’t mean you have lost your salvation. It just means that your flesh man, the old man, is overriding the spirit man, the new man, and you have to make a decision. You have to choose what you do, what you say, and how you act. Changes in our lives are up to us to make. God gives us the freedom of choice. We choose Christ, we choose to follow Him, and it’s up to us to choose Him over and over each and every day.
Read John Chapter 16.