Replacement Surgery

You must no longer walk in the futility of [your] minds. You learned Christ— and were taught in him, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:17,20-29,31-32

Joint replacement surgery has become a popular and welcome remedy for many who suffer pain and debilitation from age or injury. The old is removed, the new is put in, and healthy function is restored. Recovery is not an easy process and can be painful itself through therapy and relearning, but the surgery is well worth it for those who can enjoy movement again.

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Paul gives the Ephesians smart instruction that is a remedy for the pain (often in results or consequences) of futile thinking and worldly behavior, and it involves full replacement of former living with new thinking, new self, new behavior. Pretending, deceiving, any falsehood is to be replaced by speaking truth. How often do I shade straight truth with innuendo or exaggeration? Anger is to be dealt with, sans sinning, and quickly. Do I prefer to stew, keep a record of wrongs, allow anger to take root and take off? Thieves are to work rather that steal, and tongues used to build up and give grace rather than gossip, criticize, complain, and slander. Idleness is a haven for sin of hand and mouth; if I have too much time on my hands, I best get to serving and singing. A renewed mind that is intent on Jesus will manifest itself in outlook and actions that reflect His. New habits take practice, and that can be painful as we replace old ingrained responses and create new default settings, but this is our mandate.

Masterful Surgeon, transform me by renewing my mind. Replace what displeases You with what honors You so there is no room for old practices, and teach me to walk after Your likeness. (Romans 12:1-2)

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