5th May 2014

Not Those Trousers !! 

“…that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
Ephesians 4:22–24 (NKJV)
 

Like many men I have clothes that I feel comfortable in and don’t always notice that they are getting a bit worn or shabby. Once or twice a year my wife has a sort out and takes some of our clothes to the charity shop or sometimes just throws them away.

When I realize what she is doing I look with anguish at which of my clothes are going to go to the tip or the charity shop. “ Not those trousers,” and “ Not that shirt,” I usually say. My wife then points to the hole in the seat of the trousers or the frayed collar and cuffs of the shirt. But they are comfortable I say, surely they will do for a little bit longer. Finally I have to accept that the garment has reached the end of its natural life or that I have almost identical other trousers or shirts to wear. Yet even though they are scruffy and worn I am still reluctant to part with my favourite old clothes. 

Which got me thinking about my attitude towards God. How reluctant am I to change old habits, old emotions, old thought processes? How comfortable am I with behaviour that is not Christian? How often does God reveal a problem and I say but I am comfortable with that? 

Perhaps I need an annual spring clean of my habits, emotions, thoughts and behaviour. Perhaps God is patiently waiting for me to realize that there is a need to change, that some aspect of what I do or what I am has a flaw in it which needs attention. 

How often do I say to God, “ Not that thought,” or “ Not that emotion,” or “ Not that behaviour”. It is hard to change when you are comfortable with the way you are, but that is the challenge for us as Christians—to let God, over time, change us so we are better servants to Him and to people we come into contact with. Too often we don’t realize that a particular attitude, emotion or behaviour of ours can cause problems for others. That it could turn someone away from God, or away from our church or simply away from us, when we could help them in some way. 

Being human we will make mistakes and never be perfect. But a willingness to yield to God and allow ourselves to be changed from the inside out will help us to grow as Christians, as people, as servants.  Let’s ask God for a spring clean of our attitudes, emotions and behaviour so we become better ambassadors, and willingly let go of the old thoughts, wrong emotions and behaviour with which we are all too comfortable. 

Must go now, I’ve just seen what my wife is doing, “ hang on darling, not those trousers, not that shirt!” 

Prayer
Loving and patient Father, help me to see when I need to change and when I am too comfortable with the wrong thoughts, attitudes and emotions. Help me to be a better and brighter light in reflecting the light of Christ.
Amen
 

Study by Keith Hartrick

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keithhartrickAbout the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, a Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LEEDS
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone:  01484-312347
Email: malcolm.john.arnold@ntlworld.com

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