“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
I am blessed. I have a closet full of clothes. Over the years many of my clients have been in the clothing business. So there was always an exchange of clothing for services. As a result, there has always been nice clothing in my closet. In many cases, the clothing still looks new. But with all of that nice, new clothing in my closet, I still find myself going back to some of the same old items. In fact, one of my favorite shirts is so frayed at the collar that the collar almost doesn’t exist. I have a few favorite ties that are close to 40 years old [both pictured above]. I have all of this new clothing set before me, and yet I still will go back to an older suit that has the elbows wearing thin. I have shoes barely out of the box, yet I still grab a pair that is worn and tattered. In Colossians 3, Paul tells me the amazing news! I have been raised with Christ, so I am to set my sights high. I am to put away my old impure and filthy and frayed and false self, and instead, “put on the new self.” Christ is asking me to go into the closet of my heart and throw away the filthy, frayed stuff and to clothe myself with the new stuff. Christ has given me a new wardrobe. He gave me this wardrobe; he gives all of us this wardrobe, because He loves us, and He wants us to be clothed just like Him. He wants us to be clothed in compassion and kindness and humility and gentleness and patience. And above all, He wants us to be clothed in love. He has given us this amazing wardrobe, this beautiful collection that will eternally be in style, and yet even with this glorious wardrobe as my gift, and at my fingertips, I still go back to the ragged and the impure. Maybe that ragged and frayed life feels too comfortable. Maybe it’s easier to lose my patience. Maybe it’s easier to let my pride swell up. Maybe it’s easier to let the earthly idols captivate me. Maybe it’s easier just to desire the impure. But Christ still pursues me. “Terry, don’t set your mind on the old stuff. Set your mind on the new stuff. The new way. Go into your closet and throw away the ragged and torn and filthy and out of style and clothe yourself with this amazing gift I have given you.”
This morning I walked to my closet and looked at what to wear. I was tempted to reach for this older white shirt that I knew had a small spot on the sleeve. It is comfortable. But I set my sight on another shirt. It was rather new. I put it on. At first, it didn’t feel quite as comfortable as the older white shirt, but within a few minutes it kind of felt good. It felt fresh. Well, it just felt right. That being said, I am sure before the end of the day, I will be thinking about that old frayed shirt and a 40-year-old tie.