I LOVE to put cute outfits together. It’s something about being put together with your own style that intrigues me. Now I would not call myself a fashionista by any means, but I do enjoy exploring the fashion sense that I have.
I will often stand in my closet and ask the Lord what I should wear for that day. A particular item pops out, and I start thinking of all the possible outfits that could go with that item. Once I get all the pieces together that complete the look, I then clothe myself and add the right accessories. I am ready for the day after I have looked in the mirror, and it all checks out.
When I am only thinking about clothing myself in the natural, I may not consider that something could be missing from my spiritual “outfit.” In Colossians 3:12-14, Paul challenges us as believers to consider our spiritual outfits. The challenge is for us to clothe ourselves with items not made by human hands.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:12-14)
Put Off The Old
The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church in Colossae to encourage them in their walk with Christ. In chapter 3, He is imploring the saints to “put off the old self with its practices and put on the new self.” (Colossians 3: 9-10)
I love how Paul tells us what we have to “take off” before we can “put on” the new garments found in verse 12. We are to rid ourselves, or “take off,” anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, and lying. (vs. 8) These things are a part of our old nature, and we must take them off to walk in our new nature.
We can’t keep on what belongs to our old self and try to put the new garments on top. It doesn’t work that way in the natural, and it won’t work in the spiritual. If we want to put on a new outfit in the natural, we typically take the one we have on off and then put the new outfit on. How uncomfortable would it be to wear two whole outfits at the same time? It would be uncomfortable and impractical.
You take off the old to put on the new.
Put On The New
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3: 12)
Now that we have taken off the old self with its practices, we finally get to verse 12 of chapter 3. Paul begins by saying that we are God’s Chosen People. He says that we are Holy and Dearly Loved. Let’s park right here for a moment. This is a part of our identity in Christ. He chooses us!! He chose you! God the Father calls you and me “holy” and says that we are His “beloved.” The Lord Almighty has set His affections on us. He has lavished His love upon us by choosing us and setting us apart for His glory! Hallelujah!!! I am not working toward this identity; I already have this in Christ Jesus.
We have to see ourselves the way that God already sees us. Chosen, holy, and dearly loved. This is our new identity in Christ. This new identity enables us to wear the new wardrobe introduced in the latter part of verse 12. Our position in Christ qualifies us to wear each of the new garments. We need to accept who we truly are in Jesus because if we don’t, we won’t see the importance, or value, in wearing our new wardrobe.
You Can Choose
Now that we have embraced our new identity in Christ, we can look at our new wardrobe. We are to clothe ourselves with: Compassion, Kindness, Humility, Gentleness, Patience and bind them all together with Love.
If I am honest, when I look at this list, I need HELP displaying all of these in my life. But that’s the beautiful part about God’s grace. He will help me with each one of these, and I don’t have to put them on by myself. I have the Holy Spirit working in me to make sure that these are a part of my spiritual “outfit.” The Holy Spirit will help me, and He will help you. Our job is to make sure we set our minds on things above so that when it is time to get ready for the day, we choose to put on these garments.
Situations will arise throughout your day where you will have the option to respond from your old nature or the new one. In those moments, you and I have to choose what we will display. It all depends on what we “put on” for the day. Did we put on anger, or did we put on love? Did we put on pride, or did we put on humility? Our old nature may be comfortable for us, but the Lord calls us to take it off and reach for our new wardrobe. He desires that we display a new look that we put on with the help of the Holy Spirit.
When situations arise, we get to choose what we wear during the occasion. Our old man may try to convince us that we don’t have a choice. It will even try to say that this is just who we are. That is a LIE. We have freedom in Christ to choose a different way of living. If we tend to respond in anger, we can now put that off and respond in love to ANY situation. That is the Truth. We may have to work to get to that point but know that it is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Keep Reaching for the New
Before I let you go, I want to inform you that you will want to revert to what is most comfortable. I want you to keep reaching for the new wardrobe anyway. It may be uncomfortable and a bit unnatural to wear “humility,” but keep putting the new garments on by faith. I believe they will grow on us as we reach for them every day.
If you have not made a conscious effort to clothe yourself with your new wardrobe, now is a great time to start. What will you put on today?
- What are you wearing today that is a part of your old man’s wardrobe? How could you go about practically taking these items off that do not belong to you any longer?
- Has the Lord identified any items from your new wardrobe that He would like you to wear more of? If so, what are they? Are you taking steps to make sure these are displayed when situations arise throughout your day?