Monday, August 3, 2015

Rotten Apples and Dead Leaves

By Andrea Merrell

Therefore if any man be in Christ, 
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; 
behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Last week—while sitting on my front porch in 100 degree temps trimming my once-beautiful ferns—the Lord taught me a lesson about rot and decay.

These two ferns, once lush and full, were suddenly more brown than green. Rather than leaving the dead leaves to choke out the healthy ones, I tried to cut off as many of them as I could, but found it increasingly more difficult. It was hard not to damage the new as I worked to get rid of the old.

When things decay, it’s anything but pleasant. As the saying goes, it only takes one rotten apple to spoil the whole barrel. Once something begins to decay, it affects everything it touches.

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians that when we are in Christ, we become new creatures, or creations. But we are further instructed in Ephesians 4:22-24 (NKJV) that we should  put off … the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,  and … put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

When we read through verse 32, we are told exactly what to put off:
  • Lying
  • Anger
  • Giving place to the devil
  • Stealing
  • Corrupt communication
  • Bitterness
  • Wrath
  • Clamor (loud continuous noise)
  • Malice (ill will)
  • Evil speaking
That’s a pretty big laundry list and it puts the ball squarely back in our court. 

Here are the things we are to put on:
  • Truth
  • Edifying words
  • Grace
  • Kindness
  • Forgiveness
  • Love

I think from now on, whenever I see leaves turning brown and something starting to deteriorate, it will be a reminder to check my own heart to make sure it’s free from spiritual rot and decay.

How about you?

(Photos courtesy of morguefile and FreeDigitalPhotos.)


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