Put Off Your Old Self And Get A New One

Put Off Your Old Self And Get A New One -christyfitzwater.com

I’ve been a little teary over the last few weeks. Mom and I were talking about it, as we come up on the fifth anniversary of my dad going to be with Jesus.

“It’s not the anniversary that’s getting to me,” I said to her. “It’s what I see happening in my own life.”

My dad loved to delight people by surprising them with service or gifts. He was the man who went up to our family cabin early one December, just to put lights on the outside tree and surprise the grandkids by lighting the tree when it turned dark.

He was the man who referred to himself as the “gas fairy,” as he often snuck to my car and unexpectedly filled the tank.

He was the man who drove 12 hours from Wyoming to visit us here in Montana, showed us a cooler full of elk meat, and asked if we had a place to store it. When we said no, he commanded Matt to hop in the truck. They drove straight to an appliance store and came back with an upright freezer.

Dad had crinkles at the corners of his eyes, and they crinkled most deeply when he was surprising someone with an unexpected gift or act of service. He seemed boyishly happy in those moments.

I might be getting some of those crinkles.

“I think I might be more and more like dad,” I was telling mom. Just this Saturday I bought two pints of buttermilk and snuck them in the fridge for Aunt Noanie to enjoy. Just wanted to see her smile. Then this act made me cry, because I could see myself acting like my own father. That’s a good thing. He was a generous, kind man, and I hope so much to be like him.

After buying buttermilk, I went to church that night, and the preacher talked about the incredible day when God formed the first people on this earth. He made them in his image, which I believe means their eyes crinkled for the same reasons his did.

Listen to these verses I discovered this morning:

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. (Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV)

We were created to be like God, but this was corrupted. Until Jesus came and offered restoration. As we learn to take on the attitude of Jesus in every aspect of our lives, we can regain our resemblance to the Creator.

I just turned 50 you know, and I can feel the slow decay of my body. But not my insides! My insides are getting newer and newer. I’m growing in self-discipline and in learning how to serve others. Still a long way to go, for sure, but I am growing. Some of the good qualities that were in my earthly father are coming to life in me. Doesn’t that make sense? If sin had never entered the world, wouldn’t generations of children have learned and inherited only beautiful qualities from their parents, qualities which were reflections of God’s divine nature?

Oh, look at my tearing up again. Kleenex, please.

You guys, while our bodies are getting older, inwardly we can walk with God and see more and more of his characteristics shining out of our own lives. We are being made new, and maybe it’s because our Father delights in surprising us with goodness.


  1. Cheryl Cowan says:

    I am also coming up on the 5th anniversary of my dad passing. I remember reading your posts around the time of your dad passing and my heart hurt for you. I read your words describing how you felt and what God was teaching you and I cried with you. Several months later I was living the same painful loss of my dad. Your grace and testimony had begun the preparation of my own heart months before I would need it. Only this morning, before even reading this blog post (I’m a little behind in reading them), mom and I were talking about Dad, and how can it have been nearly 5 years already, and how we still think of him as though he’s still puttering around out in his shop, making some gift out of wood, as was his delight to do. Or listening to the baseball game, or chatting with my husband about the goodness of God. I cried a little this morning but then also pictured him praising his Jesus, right at His feet, and singing in perfect pitch which all his life he wished he could do.
    Thank you for always sharing your heart.

    1. Oh wow, Cheryl. You’re squeezing my heart with your story. I feel like we should be talking about this over a cup of coffee and having a good (happy/sad) cry together. Could you have imagined we could live five years without our dads here? It gives me hope that time is flying and soon we’ll be with them in heaven. Thank you also for sharing this encouraging word about my writing being a useful service. That means a lot to me. Hugs to you!! And give your mom my love.

      1. Cheryl Cowan says:

        Coffee with you would be wonderful (I’ll take decaf. You don’t want to see me with REAL coffee!! Lol) . By the way, we were in Lakeside on vacation (though couldn’t get into Glacier Park due to snow) visiting friends who are involved in YWAM when we got the call about Dad. My hubby drove 11 hours all night to get us there. Dad waited and we had another day and a half with him. It was a great gift to me.
        Hubz and I want to go back to Lakeside again someday. It’s beautiful there. Hugs to you. And I pray for you often.

  2. Sharon Beach says:

    What beautiful thoughts you had for me this morning! I just turned 75 on Feb. 1 and I must say at first it was a hard hit. But then God in His soft still voice, let me know I am still useful to Him because though my body is outwardly decreasing, my heart and soul are definitely increasing. My body is not as useful for “bodily” things as it used to be, but He is making my heart and soul very useful by giving me more time for His Word, more quiet moments with Him to teach me things about Him that I am able to share with younger friends.(My mouth still works well?).
    Thanks for your encouragement and for your down to earth way of sharing.?
    May God bless you and your family and your sweet thoughts you so willing share with us.

    1. Happy 75th! It’s so good for you to look at what you still CAN do in your relationship with God. It’s a blessing as we get older, to have so much time just to sit and enjoy his presence. And hurray for your mouth! I’m sure God will use you to encourage and build up others, even if you’re body can’t do all it used to do. Thank you so much for your precious encouragement today. It means a lot to me that you took the time to write!

  3. LOVE this – !! My husband and I are in our mid-40s and there is no denying the decline that the body experiences. But oh you are RIGHT about the inward renewing that also – by God’s grace – is happening.

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