Our neighborhood is finishing an annual ritual: leaf raking ! Our street is called Pine Tree but it seems most of the trees aren’t pine but instead leaf bearing trees ! So every year about this time the street is pretty much lined with huge piles of raked leaves awaiting for the township crews to vaccuum them up and whisk them away.
These leaves are a part of the tree that have now dropped off having become lifeless. In some ways they remind me of what God tells us in Ephesians 4:22, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt, according to the deceitful lusts.” There is a part of us that needs to go as a child of God, that needs crucifying and needs to be sloughed off. The things we used to do need to be left there in the past and we must move on to better things, Christlikeness !
But in truth, sometimes those “leaves” wanna hang on ! We find we’d sometimes rather worry than trust God, or resort to making a decision based on how we feel or what we want rather than what God’s said. We can’t bring ourselves to forgive that person who has wronged us so and so we choose to allow the “leaf” of bitterness to sap our energy rather than go on to the new growth of forgiveness. The next verse goes on to say, “AND be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” Notice the connecting word, “And”? It means we are to let the old leaf drop off but not just refrain from the old way, keep the life process going by doing the postive action of renewal. Just as the tree will sprout new leaves in the spring so we must enact this spiritual/mental renewal. That worry needs to be replaced and will be aided as we feed our mind on the precious truths that God is all powerful and adequate to meet ALL your needs as you trust Him.
Now in verse 24 Paul pens this, “AND that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” ! After letting that old leaf drop and initiating the renewal of the mind we DO what it says and implement action consistent with the Word, whatever that may be. A new leaf starts to sprout ! TRUE holiness begins, not some prudish or smug self-righteousness but a clean, godly, growing life in us !! New and Christlike patterns being to emerge. As a pastor its a joy to see this happening in our folks !!!
This is Monday and for most folks, eh, not so great a day in our minds. The work week is AHEAD of us. But look at it this way. If you have been in church yesterday you just worshipped, you saw Christ in others, you heard of Him through His Word, you are good to go for the week and now you have a fresh opportunity to drop some bad leaves and sprout some good ones ! Go for it, you have His Word, you have the power of His Spirit !!