I love this image that Paul uses of stripping off an old nature and wearing a new nature as if it were a coat or a set of clothes. In today’s passage he talks about the attitudes we should discard and then goes through the qualities that should replace them. I know it seems obvious to us after two thousand years, that Christians believe in things like kindness, gentleness and patience. But these things do not necessarily come easily if you have lived a very different life, more self centred, perhaps emotionally poorer, for many years. I believe in Paul’s idea, that our attitudes and the motivation of our hearts, are as visible to others as the clothes we are wearing. I also believe that thinking of it in this way is the key to changing the habits of a lifetime. Nobody likes feeling under dressed, or for that matter, over dressed, in any given situation. Imagine how it might feel if you only had one set of clothes that you had to wear at all times and didn’t have the facilities to wash them. Now imagine being given a whole wardrobe of new, quality, clothes and the means to look after them properly and knowing that these decent clothes would last for the rest of your life.
Colossians 3:8-15 NLT
But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behaviour, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilised, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
My Goal today is to try to seek and accept the peace that comes from Christ. As a body of believers we are called to live in peace and always be thankful. In this environment of love and peace; anger, rage, malicious behaviour etc, can not exist. In fact they are defeated by love and compassion, they can not prevail against the love and peace of God. I want it to be as visible as the clothes I wear, that the peace of Jesus is in my heart. I pray that we, as a fellowship, could genuinely unite in harmony so perfectly that others would hear it and be attracted by the sound of it. I pray they would draw near and see the church clothed in the Love of God. I pray that they might come and know God with the sound of his perfect harmony resounding in their astonished ears, and the sight of his eternal love flooding into their wide eyes. Amen.
Jeremiah 8:8-9:26, Colossians 3:1-17, Psalms 78:32-55, Proverbs 24:27