You must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God. Ephesians 4:17b-18a
Talk to any individuals who have finished doing time in prison, and they will tell you that prison does not immediately leave you as soon as you walk out the gate. For many there is a tension that remains, a defensiveness, a sense of suspicion and unease. You don’t just turn that off the moment you breathe your first breath of freedom.
As Christians, you and I find ourselves in a curious situation. It’s obvious we still live in a world that is fallen, broken and dark because of sin. And yet, through faith in Jesus, God has rescued us from that prison and brought us into the light of his forgiveness. In Jesus you and I are now free. We are at peace. We are secure. We have nothing to fear.
But old habits die hard. Old habits die hard because they’re so familiar, even comfortable. And so it’s easy for me to keep on worrying. It’s easy for me to feel lonely. It’s easy for me to give in to fear. It’s easy for me to think that I’m not in the arms of a God who loves me.
But those old habits don’t fit the new reality in my life. They don’t fit yours, either. Because of Jesus, the dark days are over. Forgiveness has arrived. Freedom is here. The reasons to be afraid are gone. The more we breathe that in, the more the Holy Spirit will empower us to dismiss our old habits.
Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, for all the times I have given in to my old ways of thinking. Wash me clean. Empower me by your gospel to put my old habits to rest. Amen.