the new self


Colossians 3 | Paul charges the nothing-special you’s and me’s of Colossae to live like we’ve been raised to Life. To live because we’ve been raised to Life! He says to set our minds on the things of Heaven, to let our heart and spirit rise up and settle There often, to long for our Someday and run hard like it’s coming up quick. He tells us to look backwards for just a second–enough see the old self in the rearview—and thank God for second chances and new Life and an undeserved brand new self. He tells the new us that we’ve been made alive and made holy. We’ve been set apart, sanctified for God’s purposes and dressed up in His righteousness. He says our game plan’s to simply suit up.

What an invitation! Yes, to follow Jesus. Yes, to walk in His ways. But this one: to wear Him and the things of Him, to let things of Jesus cover what’s plain old me. Yes, to put on His law, His love, His mercy and Grace though I’m ordinary, nothing-special. To wear compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, humility, dressed in the character of Jesus Himself. To walk this planet looking a lot like Him.

Sounds simple, but Paul’s charge is two-fold. To wear the good stuff, we’ve got to put to death all that reminds us of or belongs to the old self. The old self is screaming our name and scratching its way back on–desperate for some attention and to be back as our chosen attire. I’ve got to rid myself of old ways, ditch them and deprive them of power. I’ve got to throw the things I wore back-then in closet back corners, unwelcome here. I’ve got to ignore the old self and fight every urge to put it back on. I’m charged to take off the old self–and keep it off. Only then can I suit up.  Grace gives me a new self and I get to wear it! Clothed in newness, in Life, in Christ. Wearing compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience and humility. And above all, I’m all wrapped up in a Love that doesn’t let go. May I never walk without it. And just like that, the new self coats the ordinary in custom-made splendor.

I’m named holy, chosen, dearly loved–and He lets me partake in His glory. My new attire looks a little more like my Jesus every single day. I dream of the day this dress-up becomes natural, automatic almost. I want to get there. When dawn breaks to daylight, I want to choose to wear the things of Jesus. I want to choose to wear what’s lasting, what’s sanctifying and glory-bound. I want to receive His carry-to-completion promise instead of settling for the old self.

I want to walk like Jesus, talk like Him and love like Him. To wear gentleness—to listen a long while, to stay slow to speak. To comfort and come close and let in. To wear humility—to bend low and bow often. To wear a name I let fade. To always point Up, to keep this not about my reputation or my renown. To be small and ever-thankful, to credit the Glory where it’s due. To always wonder. To wear kindness—to see good deep down, to make no assumptions. To wear joy abundant, to offer grace over and over again like it’s as daily as He swears it is. To include, to invite, to notice the outsider and the far-out. To love just-because. To wear patience—to trust, to wait, to move slow when He says so. To keep circling my Jerichos, to wrap it in God’s promises sure He’ll come through. To faithfully repeat my heart’s desires, certain I’m heard. To never see His slowness as inactivity. To hold palms up, to just be still and know. To walk brave in holy anticipation. To wear compassion—to wear the good kind, that gives all I’ve got and comes back around. To supply beyond the need, to hand out hugs and authentic how are you’s and second chances. To layer up, and always wear Love—the extended, stretched out, spread wide kind—that holds every little thing together.

my Rabbi, You covered my eyes, spun me around and then let me see—really see!—a spotless new self. You took care of my stain, my sin, my scuffed-up edges and clothed my nothing-special in the prettiest plain white. You dress my ordinary up in wild glory. The old is long gone, the new is right here!

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