Saturday, September 10, 2011
Replacing Your Sin
Ephesians 4:28 (The Message): Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Even if stealing has not been something you struggled with, there is a lot we can learn from this verse. It is the idea of replacement…replacing what you once did with something new.
Sometimes it’s not enough to stop what you once did before you became a believer. Replacing a bad habit or a sin with something else can be beneficial. It takes what you once did, who you once were and turns it around into something good.
The concept of this is something I saw played out in a book I just finished reading called “The Cause Within You: Finding the One Great Thing You Were Created to Do in This World” by Matthew Barnett. Former prostitutes teaching Bible studies. Former drug addicts providing meals to the homeless. All are giving back. They didn’t just stop their sin. They replaced it with something else.
But it goes even a little deeper than this. Reread the verse above and you will see four important steps. The first step is simply to stop what you once did. “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer…”
The second step is to do something else. “…but must work…” So now instead of stealing, you are working.
The third step is to replace your sin. “…doing something useful with their own hands...” The hands that used to steal are now going to find something useful to do instead.
The fourth step is to share your replacement with others. “…that they may have something to share with those in need.”
You see, living a life that is pleasing to God is not just about stopping those bad behaviors or habits. It is really about positively impacting the lives of others. No matter what your past is, you have something to give back.
Stop your sin, replace it with something good and then use it to impact the life of those around you.
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