The first thing that we are taught is to not be like the Gentiles (or the world) because "they are hopelessly confused." Paul then explains that they have wandered further into darkness and have hardened their hearts. The word hardened could also be translated as calloused, which I think gives a more accurate gauge of what happens to someone who lives their life apart from Christ. A callous is a hardening of the skin as it is exposed more and more to something that may cause pain. For example, when you play a stringed instrument such as guitar you want callouses to form on your finger tips so that it no longer hurts when you press on the strings. I believe that when we live apart from God, life is very painful. As we live without God, we grow a callous on our heart so we don't experience the pain. This allows for the indulgent lifestyle that Paul writes about in these verses. We are no longer sensitive to the tugging in our hearts to change.
God has something so much better for us! We see that we can throw off and shed those callouses that formed on our hearts when we come to know Christ. We learn that the Spirit empowers us to live the way we are supposed to live. The Spirit renews our thoughts so that we can live the new life that God has purposed for us. The Greek word for new is kainos which means to be fresh or new or unprecedented. The thoughts that we will have in the Spirit will be like nothing we ever experienced. These thoughts will not be our thoughts, but they will be the thoughts of the Spirit. These thoughts will be focused on Christ and how He wants us to live; they will no longer be the selfish and indulgent thoughts we had before Christ. Just as the butterfly no longer looks anything like its old self, we no longer think and behave like our old selves. We are to put on our new nature that God created for us so we can do "the good things He planned for us long ago," (Ephesians 2:10). I know that those of you who follow this blog regularly keep seeing me use Ephesians 2:10; however, we need to believe that God has planned for us to do good things as His followers.
Have you shed your callouses and put on your new self?
Linking up with A Pause On the Path.