Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.
// Colossians 3:9-10
Jesus declared that we are “to love our neighbor as ourselves”, when He walked the earth. The question is, with which self are you aiming to love your neighbor? Paul, in the verses above, says that when we keep putting on the old man with his evil desires, that we actually are engaged in lying to one another! He said that if we are a people of faith in Christ then we have already died to our old man and been raised up with Christ into our new natures. But the trouble is, often times it doesn’t feel that way. Often we think we have a right to be angry, to hold a grudge, to be bitter or gossipy, to indulge in sexual impurity or involve ourselves in lewd jests. These things are the practices of the old man, not the new. And they are made of lies.
See, the old man has a certain kind of love that drives him: self-centered affections. Likewise, the new man, who is made in Christ’s image, has a particular kind of love that motivates all he does, too: the selfless love of God. Our inner man, be he “old” or “new”, is like a set of clothes, and we get to choose whether we clothe ourselves in bitterness, lust, or gossip, or if we will put on humility, kindness, and generosity.
We have, if you will, access to two different wardrobes, both of which the Lord and the enemy each offer, daily, to help us get dressed. The question is, which clothes are we putting on? Do we need an “extreme makeover” of our spiritual wardrobes? Do we need to throw out a lot of what we’ve been wearing and go to the Lord to “shop” for the new clothes He offers, those in line with His Spirit?
The nature we put on, whether old or new, determines how we love ourselves and others, be it self-centered or selfless. Daily we have a choice and we are each without excuse – for the Lord stands ready to let us borrow all of the clothes from His own wardrobe – that new man, fashioned in the image of the One who created him. When we wear and walk around in our new natures, we walk in the truth of who Christ is in us today; we walk after His fashion.
Perhaps the renewing of our wardrobe starts with renewing our mind. Perhaps we need to choose to see ourselves, and others, with the eyes of the new man and to love from Christ’s own heart.
// Samuel Nicolosi