By Allen White
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry…Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:5, 12
Ill fitting closes aren’t comfortable. I’m not talking about a baggy pair of sweats to lounge around in on the weekend. I’m speaking of the clothes that shrunk in the wash, the jeans we can only button while laying down, and the t-shirt from vacation 10 years ago – it’s a small world in that part of the closet.
If we try to wear something small, we look terrible, we feel terrible, and we embarrass ourselves. Today’s passage informs us that there are attitudes and behaviors that fit us well, and there others that need to be thrown away.
God’s people look best in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. These are not things that we work hard to become. This is the fruit of a Spirit-empowered life.
If we don’t naturally feel kind and compassionate, then it’s supernatural. It comes from our surrender to God, not by our hard work.
What comes naturally to people is the fruit of the flesh -- sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. All of those might not apply to us, but a couple of them do. Whether this is played out in our lives or just in our heads, it’s the product of our old, sinful nature. These garments are shrunken, misshapen and ugly. They no longer fit the new “us” that God has created.
If we feel drawn to the fruit of the flesh, we need to investigate what’s going on with us. If we’re fascinated with greed, why do we feel that more will make us feel better about ourselves? Why do we feel inadequate? What itch do we think that material things will scratch?
Our adequacy comes from God. We get our self-worth from Him and who He has made us to be. But, if God has made us new, then why is there so much old still around? While things for our eternity are set, if we belong to Christ, things in this life don’t happen overnight. God is willing to transform us to the degree that we’re willing to surrender. God will allow us to hang onto the parts of our old, sinful nature until it’s run its course, and we decide to give it over to God.
What attitudes or behaviors would you like to see disappear from your life? Have you asked God to take these things away? Have you sought accountability in this area of your life? What new things are you pursuing to replace the old? Whether your clothes are old or new, ill-fitting or well-fitting, you’re wearing something. What is your favorite thing to wear?
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