Paul’s directive to change the way I live can be accomplished in one way — change the way I think. I cannot continue thinking in old ways if I want to develop new habits.
It is so easy to get stuck in old patterns of thinking. When the friend I call doesn’t answer, it’s easy to think she is avoiding my call. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt, thinking the very best, is the new way of thinking. How is that done?
23Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.Ephesians 4:23-24
It is a work of the Holy Spirit. He changes, renews our thoughts and attitudes. He creates in me the desire to be in right relationship with others and to be holy. Practically, what does that look like? Paul gives examples too!
25So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27for anger gives a foothold to the devil. 28If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.Ephesians 4:25-29
I make it so difficult. I want what I want. The beginning point for me is often to ask the Holy Spirit to give me the “want to.” The want to change. The want to be transformed. The want to be made new.
Join me in asking for the “want to.”