You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self. (Eph. 4:22)

STARR DAILY’S STORY is timeless. He was a master safecracker and hardened bank thief who thrived on inducing fear. His behavior as a prisoner was so dangerous that guards finally shackled him in an eight-by-eight-foot cell and fed him only bread and water.

Under such harsh conditions, Daily lost all strength to stand. Lying on the cell floor edging toward death, it occurred to him that he had always been full of energy. For the first time, he wondered what his life might have been like had he used that energy for good instead of bad.

Drifting into unconsciousness, Daily had a supernatural encounter with Jesus. When he awoke, his old self was dead and a new man was born. Beginning that day, he expended his energy in learning to replace his former ways of acting and thinking with new ways. His past life served only to give him an extraordinary perception and powerful influence as a future author and speaker for Christ.

Personal histories differ, but with Jesus in our lives, removal of the old self should be just as resolute as Daily’s. Salvation is God’s work, but our work is to grow in righteousness by continually renewing our minds—rejecting worldly attitudes and choosing godly thinking. In this way, God will conform us, as He conformed Daily, into the people He intends us to be.

Schedule your TV viewing to exclude the harmful and include only the wholesome.

Carol Chase and her husband spent many years circumnavigating the world by sailboat. She is retired and currently coordinates an e-mail prayer group from home.