“…you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (Colossians 3:9-10)
I am always struck by the simplicity and immediacy of God’s provision of the new self for us.
Scripture leads us to see the Christian life as simply… “put off… put on.” The apostle seems to be saying that living the true Christian life is a lot like a light switch – if it is dark, you simply “turn on” the switch, and the room is immediately flooded with light. No waiting. No tedious process of “making” light. It was dark. Now, I have put on the light. Darkness eliminated.
But quite honestly, there is something that just doesn’t seem “right” about that. The apostle can’t possibly be telling us that true Christian living is really that simple. “He doesn’t know my life. He doesn’t know what I’ve done. He doesn’t know what has been done to me. If he did, he wouldn’t be talking this way.”
Sometimes we can forget that the apostle who was writing this was a murderer (before Jesus captured his heart, his life’s passion was to hunt down Christians and put them to death). Imagine that kind of guilt. Imagine that kind of remorse.
Now imagine that it is possible to simply put that old life away – and put on a totally new one. Every thing that you ever did wrong is attributed to the old you. Every bit of fear, rejection, abuse, and neglect was attached to the old you. Every addiction. Every regret. Every ounce of guilt for anything in your life – was all connected with the old you.
Now, because of Jesus (and what He has done), you can absolutely, positively “put off” the old you (and everything attached to it) and “put on” the new you (we’ll be talking about all that this means in the days ahead).
The new you is different. The new you longs for the presence of God. The new you seeks the heart of God – and earnestly desires to love Him… and love other people. The new you is able to leave the past behind, and yearns to make this day the best it can be. The new you is not forever chained to past mistakes – but is renewed by new opportunities, new possibilities, new knowledge, and new experiences.
The new you realizes that the God Who created you, and Who loves you, is now deeply interested and invested in your life. The new you lives in new vision, new hope, new strength, and new purpose.
You ARE a new creation. You ARE God’s opportunity to touch (and change) this world.
That is what He has done for you. That is His provision for your life… right now.
And all we have to do is “put off” the old – and “put on” the new.
Prayer focus: God, help me to truly see the “new me” – and help me to put off the old, and put on the new!