Chameleons are amazing creatures that can adapt their colour to their background and become indistinguishable from it. Christian teacher, Richard Coekin makes the point, “Christians are not chameleons”! And Paul says, “you must no longer live as the unbelievers do” (Ephesians 4:17).

In Ephesians 4:17-24, Paul calls us to be very different from the unbelieving world around us, and to behave very differently. But behaviour can only change in a deep and lasting way when it has happened first in our minds (4:17;23), and in our hearts (4:18) – i.e., in our understanding and will that directs the whole of our lives.

The Christian Gospel doesn’t just reform us a bit at the surface level, it makes us an entirely “new self” (4:24) from the inside out. By grace Jesus Christ united our lives to Himself (1:10), then took us with Him though His death on the cross, paying for and forgiving our sins (1:7; 2:1-5); then raised us up with Him to new life (2:6), to love him, and do what He loves (2:10).

Therefore, through faith and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can stop hankering for status and wealth at all costs, stop manipulating and controlling other people’s lives to gain advantage, stop using pornography, and instead find fulfilment and contentment in God’s generosity to us in Jesus, love other people before ourselves, and find God’s love in Jesus to be the most beautiful, captivating thing in the universe.

Grace in Christ, Jonathan.