The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, 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.
A brown plaster elephant stood in Mom and Dad’s living room for as long as I could remember. He stood about two feet tall, topped with a small slab of marble for a table-like top. Every Saturday I dusted him as I cleaned. That old elephant wormed his way into my heart. Over the years, he moved with Mom and Dad from house to house. With each move, he suffered a few chipped edges as the paint wore away. By the time Mom and Dad moved to an apartment the elephant looked pretty tired. But I still loved him like an old friend. When Mom said she no longer had room for the elephant, I took him to my house. He sat in the corner for awhile, still brown and still chipped. Today I pulled him to the back porch and painted him—purple. Yes, purple. He’s beautiful and refreshed.
As much as I loved that old elephant, God loved me so much more. I’ve had times in my life when I felt worn and chipped. God poured his care over me and renewed my spirit. His compassion and love covered me and gave me a new attitude. Paul reminded the Ephesians to put away their bad habits and poor choices and put on Christ’s righteousness and holiness. Many around them had separated themselves from God and allowed their hearts to harden. Paul reminded them that Jesus’ grace had the power to refresh the soul and offer hope of new life~ as it still does. Praise God for his love and compassion.