Sacrificial LoveWhat does it mean for you to carry your cross?
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New Way To Be Human
Put on your new nature, created to be like God (v.24).
Last year, my wife Miska and I traveled to London.
We enjoyed the standard sights (Westminster Abbey
was a favorite), but mainly we spent our days
walking the neighborhoods, visiting shops and cafes,
soaking in a different way of life. We noticed how
drinking tea provided a daily rhythm, how remarkably
peaceful a subway (or tube, as they call it) station could
be. At Portobello Market, we saw shopkeepers close their
doors so they could enjoy 20 minutes of quiet. Other
cultures demonstrate new ways of living in our world.
On a broader scale, this is precisely what the Bible
offers. Scripture provides an invitation into another way
to live—a better way of being human. The way of life
the Bible describes does not make us less active or less
engaged with our world (as though we are merely surviving
until God evacuates us). Rather, embracing God’s life
makes us more engaged with our world—more the person
God created us to be. Paul put it this way: “everything . . .
connected with that old way of life has to go. . . . Get rid
of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a Godfashioned
life” (vv.22,24 The Message).
And this new life is immersed in everyday stuff, human
stuff: marriages, relationships, work—life. There’s nothing
abstract or theoretical here. God gives straightforward
wisdom, emphasizing the basics. Nothing flashy—but all
very human. Paul says we should “stop telling lies” (v.25).
We should keep anger in check (v.26). And—I love this—Paul insists that anyone
who steals should simply “quit” (v.28). We should speak and live with kindness,
have tender hearts, and always be quick to forgive (v.32).
I wonder what our world would be like if we truly embraced God’s way of
being human. —Winn Collier
Turn to Ephesians 5:1.
Note how Paul continues his discussion of human relationships and ways of
living. How does God’s new way of life affect the many ways people relate?
What are your normal habits and patterns? How does God’s
invitation to a new way of being human transform your view of real life?
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