Ever tried to cut something from your life cold-turkey? You know, just one day you decide I am no longer eating meat? Or I will never drink coffee again?

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Passage

to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV

that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].

Ephesians 4:22-24 AMP

When someone quits abruptly it is called stopping “cold-turkey”. This is in contrast to slowly abstaining for a particular habit, behavior, and/or act.

Process

When I look over my life I’ve gone cold-turkey successfully in some cases, not eating red meat, yet failing completely in other ways, not drinking coffee so much.

These acts are not sinful, in of themselves, but I’m using them as examples.

I have to believe my disposition towards the activity differed. As with the examples, I ate red meat but not often. Therefore, stopping it wasn’t too difficult. In that case, I merely moved from having it by replacing it with another option.

However, with coffee, that’s a different topic all together. I’ve tried and succeeded for short periods of time. Stopping it is always difficult. I can drink hot coffee all day, all year long. And I live in Texas. 🙂

But what makes it harder is I associate different tasks with drinking it. I like to read, write and even knit all while drinking coffee. So when I stop I find it difficult to engage in those normal tasks without wanting a warm cup of coffee to accompany it. 

I think it would be truly difficult to stop bad thinking cold-turkey.

[shareable cite=”Dana Pittman”]It is not about stopping but replacing. [/shareable]

Just think about it…many of these thoughts you have held close to you for a while. I see it like my coffee drinking. They have attached themselves to other areas of life.

These thoughts may have got you through some tough times. These thoughts may have been a shield between you and your greatest fear or your deepest anxiety.

However, I’m hoping you will consider not whether the thought has been helpful or not but whether it is righteous. 

Whether the thought sees God as sovereign, sufficient, faithful and is capable of addressing your every need.

Whether the thought seeks to have you truly whole.

And I know I use “truly” a lot. But it is intentional.

I know for myself I may think I’m whole, well, or that I got it together. Yet when I sit and really think about the standard in which God is calling me to I realize I fall miserably short.

Therefore, when you see “truly” I am not only challenging the thought but your concept of the thought. And I believe this applies to our:

  • Thoughts,
  • Opinions,
  • Worries,
  • Reasoning,
  • Judgment,
  • Intuition,
  • Introspection,
  • Understanding,
  • Logic,
  • Scrutiny,
  • And such.

And don’t forget about:

  • Where we fix our attention,
  • How we rationalize,
  • And so much more.

I will identify it as a “thought” but you can tack on all the other ways that you connect your thinking power to your actions and/or understanding of a situation, person, circumstance, life and God.

Additionally it is important to note that this process of “thought” can be instantaneous or happen slowly over time.

Today’s passage is a meaty one but I am sharing for a basic concept: Put Off, Put On.

The passage tells us that our thinking, before becoming a Christian, was driven by our selfish desires. Therefore it tells us to put off these thoughts.

We are not advised to go cold-turkey but to put on our new self created in God’s image. Our new self which is righteous and true.

Put off …

Put on …

Please do not miss that it is a decision we must make. We must commit to putting off the old ways and putting on the new. And the connection found in verse 23 comes with the renewing of our minds.

The Principle

Christians must commit to replacing old thinking with righteous thinking.

Practical

We are going to continuing the task from last week. BUT start a fresh list, and keep the old list.

Grab a small piece of paper like an index card. I would like for you to carry it in your pocket all day. Write down your internal thoughts. If you think about the same thing more than once, place a check mark next to it.

At the end of the day, consider, whether your thoughts were God honoring and how you can shift your thoughts concerning those matters. Place the paper in your bible or somewhere for review at the end of the week.

Consider also: What is one area of thought that you need to “put off”? What is it? How is it affecting your life? How would it feel to rid yourself of it?

“Put It In Your Pocket”

This new section is like a mini-meditation. Throughout your day think about:

Put off. Put on.

Put off. Put on.

My Prayer

Sovereign God,

You created a new mind in me. Help me to put off any thoughts, behaviors and actions that do not align with the new mind You give me. Help me to recognize when I wander down the path of unrighteous thinking. Give me the desire and ability to actively chose You.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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Day 11 Preview

I am planning to write about 2 Peter 1:5-6 tomorrow. Are you writing along? If so, comment and I’ll head over to your blog.

“See” you tomorrow.

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31 Days of Christian Thinking | Dana Pittman

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