All Christians should get a divorce

If you’re a follower of Christ, you need to get a divorce. Really, you do. As soon as possible, even though there may be a long custody battle. Don’t worry…God approves. What…not married? Well, actually, we’re all married in this way. We’re married to our old self, married to a mindset that’s contrary to God’s, even though we’ve been given His mind (1 Cor.2:16), and it’s causing Dissociative Identity Disorder in us.

Here’s what our divorce attorney, Peter, said:

11 My divinely loved friends, since you are resident aliens and foreigners in this world, I appeal to you to divorce yourselves from the evil desires that wage war within you. (1 Pet.2:11 TPT)

See, you really DO need a divorce. You have irreconcilable differences living together within you. It’s time to move on. It’s not working. It’s time to call it quits on the failed marriage.

Here are the two parties in this divorce. The old self and our new life in Christ. Paul tells us that they are incompatible, and to divorce the former means living in freedom in the latter:

16 As you yield freely and fully to the dynamic life and power of the Holy Spirit, you will abandon the cravings of your self-life. 17 For your self-life craves the things that offend the Holy Spirit and hinder him from living free within you! And the Holy Spirit’s intense cravings hinder your old self-life from dominating you! So then, the two incompatible and conflicting forces within you are your self-life of the flesh and the new creation life of the Spirit. (Gal.5:16-17 TPT*)

Notice that Paul said, once we experience our dynamic, Spirit-powered new life, we’ll gladly abandon our old one. Then Paul goes on to describe the difference between the two parties of this dissolution:

Old Self

19 The cravings of the self-life are obvious: Sexual immorality, lustful thoughts, pornography, 20 chasing after things instead of God, manipulating others, hatred of those who get in your way, senseless arguments, resentment when others are favored, temper tantrums, angry quarrels, only thinking of yourself, being in love with your own opinions, 21 being envious of the blessings of others, murder, uncontrolled addictions, wild parties, and all other similar behavior. (Gal.5:19-21 TPT)

New Life in Christ

22–23 But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:

joy that overflows,

peace that subdues,

patience that endures,

kindness in action,

a life full of virtue,

faith that prevails,

gentleness of heart, and

strength of spirit.

Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless. (Gal.5:22-23 TPT)

I hope you see that you’ll feel much better and experience real freedom after the divorce. You’ll even start noticing a difference during the long process. I know it’s hard. We’ve all developed a bit of Stockholm Syndrome with our captors, but isn’t this new life better than living with an abusive spouse that makes you feel shame and condemnation…or just nothing at all?

So God says we can stop being the dutiful spouse to the things we thought were so important about our old self. And we need not be afraid because His perfect love drives away our fear (1 John 4:18).

But here’s a truth bomb. Your old self is actually dead. So you just need to let it go. Have a good funeral and move on. Your new life is Christ’s very own life (Rom.6:1-4; Gal.2:20; Col.3:3). And it’s full of joy and full of Him!

Your new Love is a passionate lover. He has given you His life; His relationship with God is your relationship. And He’ll never let you down or let you go. He loves you the same as He loves Himself—a love of which we’ll never be able to plumb its depths. His love never fails (1 Cor.13:8).

And when you open your heart to receive and return His love, you’ll experience His joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). In fact, when you fully embrace this relationship, you’ll be a better lover, too.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:9-12 NIV)

* All emphasis added.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 39 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
This entry was posted in Freedom, Heaven on earth, Identity, Love and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to All Christians should get a divorce

  1. pkadams says:

    Revolutionary thoughts! Have you ever heard of The Spiritual Man by Watchman Nee? I started reading that years ago and it kinda scared me. I wasn’t sure if it was correct but it was definitely revolutionary. I want to divorce my old self, but like you said, it’s what I know and feel safe with.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, I read a lot of Watchman Nee years ago. His book, “The Normal Christian Life,” is a classic work. Every believer should read it. His thesis is that Gal.2:20 is the normal Christian life, and that’s about as central to orthodoxy as you can get. The Good News is that God put us in Christ and brought us into His life.

      What you said about feeling safe with our old self is so very true! It’s easy for us to be complacent and follow the crowd and just be “religious.” Add to that, much of modern Western Christianity, traditionally, is mostly about being a good person and believe in Jesus for heaven. It’s imitation instead of incarnation, and that’s powerless. But the New Testament writers are saying something very different. They are telling us that our old “religious” self is already dead. We need to let that go and learn to walk in our new life in Christ by faith. So, what we’re actually doing is trading the safety and security of the “known” for the joy and freedom of something new and wonderful!

      • pkadams says:

        I feel God pulling me towards Him more and more and away from the religious life. It’s exciting to see Him work ,but my problem is I don’t trust myself so I am constantly trying to be sure it’s not just more ‘religiosity’. I know he is a good and loving Father and that I can trust Him, it’s myself I have trouble with. Any suggestions?

        • Mel Wild says:

          The best thing you can do is let Him love you. I would read passages like John 15:9-12 and 1 John 4:18 and apply them to yourself personally. Everything with our life in Christ comes from receiving. We open our hearts to His love and He will drive away all our fear and change us. Remember that Jesus takes responsibility for changing you; your part is to open your heart to what He says about you and believe it. You will experience a transformation over time. Also remember that your confidence is in HIS faithfulness, not in your faith. He’s faithful to complete that which He began in you. 🙂

  2. Oh awesome post! Very clever Mel, divorcing our old selves. Three cheers for that! I’m a big fan of divorcing fear, divorcing despair, divorcing an excessive need for control. Whatever is not serving you well, not reflecting the grace and goodness of Jesus, just break up with it. Dump it, don’t even let that stuff slip in the friend zone. Don’t take any 3 am phone calls and for goodness sakes, don’t think you have to put money on their card when they call! That’s a big thing where I live, you don’t hear from people for months and than they wind up in jail and you’re the only phone number they can remember. 🙂

  3. rahjomuelvin says:

    Have not read that verse this way before… but yes, it is that point. I could not agree more. In Christ we are a new creation.

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