For the most part, the bedroom in my childhood home is similar to what it was when I left approximately 15 or so years ago. I don’t set foot in it often, but when I do, it’s like stepping back in time—particularly when I pull the closet doors open. Behind those bifold doors hangs a variety of clothing and outfits that didn’t make the transition from my former life to the one I live now. Soccer jerseys, old work uniforms, my high school graduation robe, and so on. Blessed with a high metabolism, I’m sure I could still fit in them, yet I no longer wear them. Why?
Because those articles of clothing no longer reflect who I am.
So it is in Christ.
In Colossians 3, Paul writes to the church in Colossae, charging them to “put off the old self,” referring to the sinful attitudes and actions that marked their former lives. But when you take something off, you have to put something back on. Paul knows this, and that’s why he challenges the Colossians to “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (v. 10).
In Christ, God has provided us with new clothing, some “fresh drip” as the kids say these days (that was really uncomfortable, wasn’t it?). Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, love (v. 12-14)—all these outfits and more are made available to those that are “hidden with Christ” (v. 3). We don’t have to go shopping for them—they are already ours through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
Nevertheless, every morning we’re tempted to go back to our former wardrobes and put on those musty but familiar old outfits—sexual immorality, impurity, covetousness, idolatry, etc. (v. 5). Let us remember that we are “being renewed”—while there are days that it seems like the old self might still fit, let’s leave the old self to hang in the back corner of the closet. It’s not who we are anymore.