Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Put Off and Put On Principle

As we approach each new day or New Year we set goals, resolutions, plans  or have hope that we’ll have a fresh start, put the old things behind us and move forward with hope of change and of great new things to come!

We all know about resolutions and stereotypically we make them and then a few months into a new year, we basically end that resolution for many reason and sometimes because we really didn’t want that change in the first place. 

Every time we want to make a change there is some level of sacrifice involved because in order to change, well, we have to change…either a behavior or something we no longer want to do or many other things. :-)

In order to truly change and grow in these cases, whether goals, resolutions or plans, we have to put something off and replace it with something new. 

For instance, if you want to start saving or investing, you have to set a budget and put off spending on certain things you used to spend on and start actively saving your money so you can actually save or invest. Putting off the old ways and then putting on a new discipline. 

As another example let’s say you want to get back into shape, (which is a famous New Year’s resolution)? :-)

 In order to do that you have to start watching or in other words put off some of what you were eating as well as put off some of the more sedentary activities and then in place of what you used to eat or the activities you used to do and then you put on or replace them with things like healthier eating and exercise. 

In these two examples (as well as many others I’m sure come to mind), you can see that there is a putting off of something “old” and putting on of something “new”.

In most things in life, to get to what really matters, again, there is some level of sacrifice or change that is required in order to attain that objective. 

So, if something is important be ready to lay down something or rid your life of something through putting off the past in order to put on something great, new, beneficial and fruitful for your life! 

In the Fourth Chapter of Ephesians specifically Ephesians 4:22-24 (For complete context, please read Ephesians 4:17-32) we are introduced to the very important “Put off and Put On Principle”. 

Here’s what the Ephesians 4:22-24 says (Emphasis Mine): 

"to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."

In this passage the principle I’ve been talking about is unlocked for us and we have the ability to start making changes by putting this “Put off and Put On” principle into practice!  
Whether you’re a person of faith or not, for all of us, life in part is a never ending process of putting off and putting on of thing such as…

Putting off old relationships and putting on new and hopefully healthier ones…

Putting off negative behaviors, actions and words in your relationships and putting on positive behaviors, actions and words that will bring life to others…

Putting off your old and destructive ways of thinking and putting on positive and life giving ways of thinking about yourself and others... 

Putting off old and very bad financial habits and putting on new and more beneficial financial disciplines…

Putting off old unhealthy eating habits and putting on new and healthier ones…

The list goes on and on even to the most basic day-to-day things….

This Put off and Put on principle seems easy in theory but in practice it’s not always because it takes hard work sometimes to make it happen but when you look back it will be rewarding to see how far you’ve come! 

I look back at how far God has personally brought me (and you may be reflecting on your life as well as you read this) and I’m thankful for the changes He’s helped me make to this point and look forward to a continuation of what still lies ahead…as I’m sure more putting off and putting on will occur in order to continue to shape me into the person…the man I’m supposed to be. 

My hope for all of us as we enter each new day and this New Year let us strive to move forward with greater purpose as we take inventory of all the little and big changes we need to make. 

Then let us start putting off and then putting on the things we need to so we can grow still further to be who we’re supposed to be for our own good as well as the greater good of everyone in our lives. 

Many Blessing and Happy New Year!

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