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Session 8

Living differently happens one day at time

Read: Ephesians 4:17-32

When family and friends get together, sharing food seems to be a required part of the process. Holiday celebrations wouldn’t be the same without everybody’s favorite dish or two. But, we can’t eat every day like it is Thanksgiving. If we do, the impact becomes obvious quickly. Bulges show where we don’t want them. Comfortable clothes aren’t comfortable anymore. Just like with any behavior that is excessive, there are consequences.  

To reverse undesirable results, we have to discipline ourselves. It might be smaller portions, or putting down the fork sooner, or avoiding the candy jar and ice cream. If we really want a different result, we have to be willing to submit to the discipline.  

Following Jesus happens one decision at a time, day in and day out. 

When we aren’t following Jesus’ example, the same thing happens. What seems good in the moment hurts us in the long run. The results of an undisciplined spiritual life show up in discontent, poor decision making, and rebellion. Our relationship with Jesus feels more and more distant as we continue to do what we know is wrong just because we can. And over time, as we give into deceitful desires, our hearts harden to the greater things God wants for us (Ephesians 4:18-22).    

Ephesians 4:23 says we are “to be made new in the attitude of (our) minds” so we can “put on the new self.” Following Jesus happens one decision at a time, day in and day out. What we think affects what we do, and what we do affects who we become. If we want to experience the freedom of being made new, we have to commit to living like we’ve been made new.

Reflect:

  • What’s the first thing you thought about when you woke up this morning? What about when you went to bed last night?
  • Do you think it’s true that what we think about affects who we become? Why or why not?
  • Is there any area of your spiritual life where you know you’ve been undisciplined? What’s one change you can make this week to get back on track?

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