20-24 But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything--and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. 25 What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.
26-27 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.
28 Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen 30 Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.
31-32 Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. (Message)
Ephesians tells us that the old way of life and everything connected to it has to go! No more following the crowd. Our culture has gone out of it's way to remove God from our daily lives. In doing so, it has lost touch with what is real and true. As Christians, we cannot live that way. Just as in the city of Ephesus 2,000 years ago, our culture today is addicted to every story of perversion. There is no way for us to completely escape from it, but we cannot participate in it. In Christ we have a new way of living life; a new set of standards.
Let's talk for a minute about the way we talk to each other. I am shocked at so many things I see people post on Facebook, even by those claiming to be Christian. Before we post a status on Facebook, tweet, comment, send an email, speak to our spouse, friends, or to our children- or in front of them- we need to be sure that the words coming out will be helpful for building others up and that they may benefit those who listen. Speak the truth in love. Our words are so powerful. They can cut people down in an instant, destroy relationships, and break trust, and damage our Christian witness. But they can also encourage, build up, share the good news, and create new relationships.
What areas of your life need to be renewed from the inside out? Let's be honest in our speech and our actions. Don't stay angry. Be sure that nothing foul or dirty comes out of our mouths and that we don't participate in backbiting or degrading talk, but use gentle words to help one another. Let's forgive one another. Remember, in Christ's body we are all connected to one another.