17-19 And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.
20-24 But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
Ephesians 4: 17-24 (MSG)
We’ve been married 30 years and recently went for some counselling. There were some behavioural patterns in our relationship that we were wrestling with. We knew that they were unhealthy but had failed to bring about change. So we asked for help. Subsequently we learned to identify why were were behaving the way we were, to recognise the triggers and to respond in a new way… a more Christ-like way. This process was at times very uncomfortable but has already turned out to be fruitful.
On reflection the counselling helped us to identify and then abandon an ‘old way of life that had to go’, and with a bit of help we experienced renewal.
Not everybody needs counselling to bring about change but it was helpful for us.
Are there any ‘old ways of life’ that you as an individual or you as a couple need to let go of?
What steps do you need to take?
Prayer (as a couple)
Father God, you know each of us better than we know ourselves and you want us to reflect your image. Help us to recognise if there are ‘old ways’ which need to go. Help us to take on the new life that you promise, so that your character is reproduced in each of us. Through people, your word and the Holy Spirit give us the resources we need to do this, for we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayer (for others)
Father God, we lift up ……. to you. You know them better than anybody. Help them to grow in your image and to abandon the ‘old ways’ which need to go. Help them to take on the new life that you have promised, for we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen