I don’t know about you, but I am so glad that I am no longer who I once was. I was recently reminded of this as I waited to board my flight at the airport. I walked away from my husband in search of a piping hot cup of coffee and returned to find him chatting with a man at our gate.
The man was an old high school acquaintance of ours. I recognized him immediately even though it has been more years than I care to admit since we all went to high school together. He looked exactly the same.
It took him a little longer to recognize me. The years have definitely changed me. I don’t look much like I did in high school. I’ve lost the pony tail, bangs, and cheerleading uniform that were so familiar back then. My hair is cut short now and, thankfully, I don’t have to wear that cheerleading skirt anymore.
After a brief time to catch up, we parted ways to catch our flight. As the plane took off, so did my thoughts. I began to think about just how different I am from that girl that I was in high school.
The difference is actually pretty shocking. The biggest changes, though, are probably not ones that my old high school acquaintance could even see during that short encounter. Sure, my appearance has changed, but greater still is the change that has happened in my heart. It is unrecognizably different.
I’m reminded of Colossians 3:9-10 ESV that says …”seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
The next verses in Colossians say that after we’ve put off the old self, there are some things that we need to put on. Colossians 3:12-17 ESV tells us that our new self wears the knowledge that he/she is holy and beloved. The new self that we put on when Christ moves into our hearts changes us. We become compassionate, kind, humble, meek, patient, forgiving, loving, peace filled, and thankful. Verse 17 says that whatever we do in word or in deed we do in the name of the Lord Jesus.
I’m glad that my old self has been put off. She wasn’t always kind, humble, meek, patient, or forgiving. She definitely didn’t have the love and peace of Christ in her heart because she didn’t even understand who He was. That is the way we are before Christ intervenes.
That moment we accepted Christ the old self died and the new self, with a new heart, was born. Everything about us is changed in that instant that we believe in Jesus as our Savior.
That doesn’t mean that our new self is perfect. I’m going to be honest. I don’t look like that high school cheerleader anymore, but I don’t look exactly like that person described in those verses from Colossians either. Like most of us, I am learning to intentionally put on the new self each and every day that bears the image of my Savior. Every day I look more and more like Him as I learn to love, follow, and obey Him. He is constantly at work in me and He is constantly at work in you.
This side of Heaven, none of us will be perfect. But, we do have the promise of Philippians 1:6ESV that says that he who began a good work in us will bring it to completion. As we continue to grow in Him, we will continue to look less and less like the old selves that we used to be.
Honestly, I hardly recognize the girl that I use to be. That is because I have been changed from the inside out. I am a new person with a new heart. I may not look like a cheerleader anymore, but I look a whole lot more like my Savior and I think that’s definitely progress in the right direction.
*This article is featured in the June issue of Faith Filled Family Magazine as
Out With The Old Man In With The New Creation
You can read the article or see the whole magazine here: