Sin must not only be eradicated, it must be replaced.” (TLT, p. 45)
Ephesians 4:21-24 teaches the putting off and putting on principle.
When is a thief not a thief? It takes more than him not stealing any more. He has to provide for his own way in life and build a living as well as share with others. It isn’t just stopping the sin, but replacing the sinful behavior with new godly behaviors.
I can so relate to this. For just over 2 years, I have felt like I have been holding it together…at times barely. Sure, I released 100 pounds and have kept it off for a year. That is great…but I feel like a glutton who just doesn’t behave like a glutton (usually). I don’t feel changed inside.
Sure, stopping eating in a gluttonous manner is important. Giving up the extra food is great, but I have to put off the old behavior AND PUT ON A NEW BEHAVIOR. A new godly behavior. This is where there is a disconnect for me.
Until I humble myself and am willing to feast on the Lord, pray, take time to write in my gratitude blog, truth journal…I believe I will be stuck being a glutton on the inside…I know God wants to do this deeper internal work in me. I must cooperate with him. Then I won’t feel like I am always on the edge of losing it all…of reverting back to old habits. I must have something replace the old ways. Something satisfying, something lasting, something…so obvious…a total enjoyment of his presence, feasting on HIM. Why do I shut him out? Why do I know that truth journaling, praying, reading the Word would help and NOT do it? (PRIDE…)
The author suggests writing a list of all the things that have become bad behaviors during the day relating to food. He then suggests writing a list of godly behaviors to practice instead. These are good exercises, as they bring this lesson home at a practical level.
Luke 11:24-26 illustrates that we may be worse off if we “clean house” of all our sinful eating behaviors–if we do the “putting off”–and fail to replace these behaviors with something godly–the “putting on.” I know this from experience. Years ago, I lost 100 pounds with Weight Watchers. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I only shifted the way my obsession with food was manifest…I went from eating anything and everything and thinking about food all the time to eat it all, to focusing on the content of food, planning and preparing the “right amount,” and obsessing every bit as much. I had no idea just how much MORE attached to food my heart had become through that year at Weight Watchers. Even though I lost all that weight, it wasn’t a huge leap for the old behaviors to return and the weight to come pouring back on (which it did).
This time has to be different. I will work this thing through. I will learn to give myself to God. To invite him more fully into all the moments of my life. I know that He IS satisfying. I am praying that he will show me just how satisfying. I am praying that I will allow him to knock down all the walls I have built in my life…so that I can “put on” the new man through and through and all the godly behaviors that go along with that. I want to replace all the sinful, negative, destructive behaviors in my life with positive godly behaviors.
Summary: Grinning and bearing it isn’t enough. We must replace ungodly eating habits and thoughts with new godly habits and thoughts. I have not been doing this!