This past spring I was out for one of my regular bike rides when I noticed that one of the lawns in my neighborhood was sprinkled with fallen leaves. It caught my attention because that’s the kind of thing you expect to see in the fall, not in the spring.
Then I remembered reading many years ago that oak tree leaves are so firmly attached that they not only fail to fall off in autumn, they can even weather the ice, wind, and snow storms that ravage them throughout winter. It’s only when other deciduous trees begin to rise from their seasonal death in springtime, and buds start to appear on their branches, that the new life of those buds on oak trees cause those old dead leaves to lose their stubborn grip and fall to the earth.
What an illustration of how our Apostle Paul tells us to deal with sin! The way to “put off the old man with his deeds” is to “put on the new man” (Col. 3:9,10). In fact, the only way to obey Paul’s command to be “putting away lying” is to “speak every man truth” (Eph. 4:25). In the same way, a thief is powerless to “steal no more” unless he begins to “labour, working with his hands” to “give” to others (Eph. 4:28) instead of taking from them. Nothing but “edifying” speech can rid your life of “corrupt communication” (Eph. 4:29), and only being “kind one to another” and “forgiving one another” can oust “bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking” and “malice” from your life (Eph. 4:31,32).
So let the resurrection life of godliness begin to bud in your life, and you’ll find it much easier to drop those leaves of sin. After all, even if a thief did manage to stop stealing without getting a job, he’d be nothing more than an unemployed thief. That’s a backsliding relapse just waiting to happen. So don’t just put your old man out of business. Put your new man to work! source