…put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:10)
Hearts and minds are shifting toward beginning another school year all across America. In our home, someone starts their school year each week of August. Around town, yellow school buses can be seen as bus drivers practice their new route. Mothers are starting to put their kids to bed earlier in preparation for school-year alarm clocks next week.
Summer is shifting into fall.
With this shift, stores are advertising and stocking their shelves for the inevitable back to school shopping. Backpacks are being stocked, new lunch boxes are being purchased (because last year’s literally smells) and clothes are being purchased.
This year’s shopping served as a reminder that in addition to deciding what clothes to wear each morning I must also decide what my heart will wear.
Today’s verse is tucked within a series of verses in Colossians 3 that talk about what Christians are to put off every day and decide to put on instead.
As we put children on the bus this month wearing some new clothes and a backpack to reflect confidence and preparedness for a new year, let’s set our minds on deciding to put on the items that allow us to reflect Christ to the world.
What we can’t wear.
We are to put to death (3:5) sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness. We are put away (3:8) anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk and lying. We are to put off (3:9) the old self.
Look at the strong words used: put to death, put away, put off.
What we can wear.
Instead, we are to put on (3:10) the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
We are to put on (3:12) compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving each other.
We are to put on (3:14) love.
We are to let (3:15) the peace of Christ rule in our hearts.
We are to be (3:15) thankful.
We are to let (3:16) the word of Christ dwell in us richly.
We are to do (3:17) everything in word or deed in the name of the Lord Jesus.
We are to be (3:17) giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Look at all of the action words used: put on, let, be, do.
As we pick up these action words to head out of summer and into a more scheduled fall, let’s remember to make the important decisions to trade in our old self for our new self.
Tackling sin is serious business. Deciding to put on Christ instead of ourselves is the toughest of endeavors. The phrase put to death, for example, is a harsh, perhaps even violent phrase.
Look at the formula we are to use to decide what to wear:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
And those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24).
Each of us differs in what clothing we wear and how important we think our wardrobe is;
but let’s not differ in deciding what we put on for Christ.
Let’s put on compassion, kindness, forgiveness. Let’s exude love, peace and thankfulness. Let’s saturate our lives with the word of Christ so it dwells richly within us.
Blog readers: Did you like the summer fare series in which blogs featured one verse and stayed in the 400-600 word range? I tried not to get too academic. Fall will bring some meatier posts again. Should I do summer fare again next year or take a break for the summer like so many other bloggers?
About the pictures: School starts Monday for us so I dug around in the archives for pictures of putting our littlest guy on the bus for the very first time. He had just turned 5. You can tell the whole family was doting on him. I can’t fit into the shorts I was wearing in these photos any longer. Bummer. But to raise these children to now 11 and 21…a treasure.
© 2015 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved