I've been working on my diet for several months now. I've changed my eating habits, and I've been getting lots of exercise.
According to the scale in my bathroom I've lost 19 pounds.
A couple of weeks ago my daughter said, "Mom - you've got to get some new pants. Yours are too big!" And then I realized something....
I still looked fat when I wore my old clothes.
So I've been shopping the sales to find new, and smaller, pants and it's been lots of fun.
But today I realized there's a bigger lesson to be learned from this.
As a Christian, how do I dress? As I work at my faith, trying to become more like Christ, does anyone notice? Or is my new faith hidden in old clothes?
The Bible says in Ephesians 4 that we are to put off our old self and put on our new self, created to be like God. It also says in Colossians 3 that we should clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
When I became a Christian, when I invited Jesus into my heart, the Bible says I became a new person. The old Kris passed away. I became new. As I learn how to be more like Christ, I should look more like Him in how I live. Do I show compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience? Do I love others? Do I separate myself from worldly things? Can others see that I've changed?
Just like dieting isn't really for just a season, but good eating and exercise needs to become a way of life, reading God's Word and prayer needs to become a habit. Asking God how I should live each day and trying to let others see Jesus in me needs to happen every day.
And so as I throw away my old big clothes and wear things that let my thinner me shine - I am going to try to throw away some more of my old self. Throw away the selfishness, gossiping, complaining, spiritual laziness, etc. I want to let Jesus shine in me.
How about you? Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Can others tell by the way you live?
Or do you still walk too much in the world? Are you still wearing old clothes?
Walking in the world as a new creature in Christ may not be easy. Old habits are hard to break - just as in eating and exercise. Others will encourage you to stay in the world. Come out to the bar and have a beer (or 5 or 6)....Tell me what you know about her....aren't her clothes awful? ...She's really ugly (or pushy or a snob).... Have you heard about them? I heard they're having an affair...Let's go to the casino....just try this-it will make you feel so good. You won't get addicted...
But be encouraged. You don't have to so it alone. You have a coach to help you, called the Holy Spirit. You have a manual for living - the Bible. And you have a heavenly Father who created you, who loves you. He called you to Himself, saved you, and gave you a new life. And He's the one who gives you new clothes.
So - how are you dressed?