Put Off and Put On
We have all heard our pastors say, “You say what you say and do what you do, because of what you think. And you think what you think because of what you believe about God, His Word and yourself.”
This saying is very practical for us to use in correcting sin in our lives. Doctrine leads to thoughts, which lead to action. When dealing with a particular sin in our lives, we should be able to trace the sinful action all the way back to see where our doctrine is wrong.
Take worry for example. The Bible tells us clearly to not worry or be anxious and that to do so is a sin. If I worry, I have anxiety and stress (sinful reactions to pressure) which affect my physical body. I end up continually thinking about myself and my circumstances, running various scenarios over and over through my mind. I am in effect saying that God is not sovereign, His Word is not true and can be ignored and disobeyed; I am at the center of my universe and am able to control my world. Obviously this is not true and the Bible needs to be applied to my situation.
Matthew 6:25-34 and Philippians 4:4-7 make it very clear that God is sovereign (proven by how He takes care of creation) and I am not to worry or be anxious. In addition, these passages tell us what to do instead: seek first the kingdom of God and pray. These are not “me”-centered actions but instead are God centered, and He promises these responses will result in peace that guards your heart and mind.
The next time you catch yourself either being tempted to worry or in a cycle of worrying, put off the sinful habit and put on what God has commanded you to do. Bring the sin to the Him, take the focus off yourself, seek His kingdom and pray. Put off the sinful habit, put on Christ and the righteous habit.