Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

A Community for Renewal

Ansa Varughese
Long Island MTC, NY
22 You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts

Most of us connect endings with story plots, long lines, and death. But an end is neither a finale nor a location; those definitions are spent. We have to redefine what the end is and Paul gives us a startling realization in three words: “Having lost all…” (Ephesians 4:19 NIV).

And he continues, “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.”

Paul is making clear to us that the real end starts with the loss of self and selflessness.

If you've been there before, you’re not the only one. We've all lost ourselves in the moment or moments. But the beautiful part is this: God has reconciled all through Jesus’ blood on the cross.

Paul explains in Colossians 1 that even the worst of us are saved and made “holy and blameless” all by the death of Jesus (Colossians 1:21-22 NLT).

We’re all given salvation, but there’s a catch: to maintain a holy and blameless self, you have to put off your old ways.

In the story Life of Pi by Yann Martel, we learn of a young teen named Pi and his dramatic encounter with a tiger on a lifeboat following an unfortunate shipwreck. He explains how fear was the only enemy and removing that fear was the only way to win against the beast.a In his case he had to take it a step further and instill fear into the tiger to claim the upper hand. Either way, young Pi had to change his former self to survive and he taught himself how.  

Under similar circumstances in our personal conflicts, we too should endeavor to put off our old self or risk losing it all together. And just as Christ taught the crowds on the mountainside, Jesus’ words should still resonate in our lives and church today: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:8-10 NIV)

Jesus is teaching us as a community of believers to put on a new way of living.

Despite the struggle to put on the new identity in the midst of a backwards world, He reminds us, “rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.” (Matthew 5:12 NIV)

aMartel, Yann. Life of Pi. New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2001.


Lord, I will rejoice in You for making me new through the blood of Christ. I ask that Your teachings prevail over everyday plights in my life. Amen. 

Jesus is teaching us as a community of believers to put on a new way of living. 

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