Like most women, I love new clothes. Going shopping for a new outfit makes me feel brand new. I loath those mornings when I rummage through my drawers and closet in search of something to wear that meets my happy mood only to find that the outfit I’m looking for doesn’t exist in my wardrobe. After three pregnancies and an aversion to dressing like a “mom,” I seem to have many of those mornings. Just recently, I cleaned out my closet and gave away clothes I had been hanging on to since college! It was time to let them go.
Life with Jesus can resemble our wardrobe. Sometimes we can hang onto our old clothes, our “old nature,” even after Jesus has replaced our whole wardrobe with new clothes or our “new nature”. When we become a Christian, the Bible says we “strip off our old sinful nature” and we “put on our new nature.” It is stripping off our old life and putting on the new life that we receive in Jesus. Colossians 3:12,14 says, “Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…above all, clothe yourselves with love…” If these are some of the new clothes that He has given us to wear, we need to throw out some of those old clothes we’ve been hanging onto for the last two decades. In order to do that, we need to change our perspective and the way we think about living. Just like we won’t look as good anymore trying to wear that old pair of jeans from college, we can’t live a victorious and redeemed life if we keep living with the same thinking we used to have without Jesus. Our old sin nature wants what we see in our present life and circumstance to dictate who we will become. Instead, we can live according to who the Bible says we are becoming according to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We can walk in mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience in any circumstance even when we aren’t feeling like it because this is the new nature He has given us. It is who we are in Him. We strip off those old clothes, our old way of living and thinking that was ruled by the flesh, and we put on these new clothes. No more searching through the closet wishing we had something new! He has given us this new wardrobe that includes everything we need to live a victorious and redeemed life.
Most importantly, we cannot DO the new nature He gave us, we ARE the new nature that He produces in us. Our new nature is an overflow of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is not what we do, it is who we are in Him. According to our new nature in Jesus, we are already wearing these attributes like we wear a new sweater and jeans. We cannot do mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and love, it is who He is in us. I have mornings when my patience runs thin toward my children, but I have to remind myself that the lack of patience I may display in the moment is the old me, the old tendency toward sin, the tendency to live according to the flesh, the old clothes I already threw out when I got saved. But with Jesus, He has produced in me a new nature that includes the grace to walk in patience and long-suffering toward my children. According to the new nature or “new clothes” He has given me, I am already wearing patience.
We cannot earn our new nature. It is who we are in Him. It is our new spiritual wardrobe. We strip away our old mindset of trying to “be good” and receive by grace the new nature, the new clothes, that we have in Jesus. So, let’s go through our closets and throw out all those old “clothes” and let’s put on the new ones that we received by grace and live that redeemed life in style.