This week I started refinishing an antique iron bed frame for my daughter. Taking off the old paint to put on new.
This bed frame has been sitting in an old shed for who knows how long and most of the paint has chipped off. I thought this makeover would not take long at all. In fact, I got the power washer out and began to blast away, but the paint stuck. I had to get out the jug of paint stripper after all. Because of the skinny round surface and grooves in the detail of ironwork, scraping the old paint became rather time consuming. I pressed on with determination and anticipation of the restored ‘new’ bed.
You know, this process is very similar to that of a growing Christian. Just as I brushed on stripper and let it set to soften the ugly old paint, we are told
“…to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24.
Did you catch the phrase “to be made new in the attitude of your minds”? Oh boy! Attitude can really get in the way sometimes. To grow and change to be more like God, we must begin with our attitudes; getting rid of the negative, sinful, hurtful, prideful attitudes as if scraping the old paint.
After scraping the paint, use steel wool and mineral spirits to remove the remaining residue. Changing our attitudes is not enough. We too need to remove some things.
Ephesians 4:31 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
Iron needs a good primer to keep the rust from returning. It also gives a good base for the paint to adhere. In our lives, our primer comes in verse 32
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
When we have an attitude of kindness, compassion and forgiveness, we are primed for the new self. What should the paint and top coat of our lives look like?
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Eph. 5:1,2
Well, I’m getting close to having this bed frame finished, but I will continue to work on putting off the old self and putting on the new and striving to be an imitator of God.