Ever heard someone say, New Level, New Devil? There is a lot of truth to this statement. As you up level yourself, it seems like everyone has an opinion on you, your life and your past.
Our culture teaches that what we think, how we act, and who we are is the result of our past. To a certain extent, where you are in life is the result of your past choices and behaviors, but it is now WHO YOU ARE. Our culture pushes the idea that our past controls our present and therefore many of our friends and family judge us through the eyes of our past.
They just can’t seem to see us differently. To them, we are still the college drop-out, the pregnant teenager, the fickle dieter, the uncommitted friend, the chronic career hopper, the divorced mom of three, or the arrogant boss.
The Bible reverses this. In Ephesians 4:17-24 Paul instructs us to leave our old ways behind. He teaches us that our past ways were the product of our flesh driven thinking. Paul urges us to not allow our past to control us in the NOW. Instead, Paul teaches us that who we are now, In Christ, should overrule our past thinking and behavior.
Ephesians 4:17-24 NIV
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned
21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Who we are in Christ, the person we are now (today) should cause us to discard what we once thought, did and said as nonbelievers.
Our past should not be brought up, analyzed and obsessed on, by others or ourselves.
It is not who we were that matters, but who we are. We should rejoice and marinate in who we are, in Christ, and not what we were when we were without Him.
Once you are saved, it’s inevitable – there will be distance created between you and unsaved friends and family. However, by your behavior you can show them what it means to be a Christian, but you no longer need to be shackled by their opinions of your former self.