2.11.2011

Do Your Laundry

This week in [MC] we've been looking at Colossians 3:5-14. Paul instructs us "as God's chosen people" to "put to death" whatever belongs to our earthly nature.
Sexual sin.
Immorality.
Greed.
Rage.
Lust.

When Paul refers to these things, he calls them "the old self." And he goes on to say that we must "take off your old self with its practices."

It's almost like it's clothing. Old clothing, or dirty clothing. And we need to take it off.
I don't know about you, but after I've just finished a hard day of work - doing yard work, sweating, nasty and exhausted - the first thing I want to do it take off my stinky, filthy clothes. That's always my first step towards getting clean.

That's what Paul is telling us to do here.
He's saying, "Now you are children of God! You're holy and clean! So stop wearing those nasty clothes of your old life. Take them off. Throw them away."

But sometimes that's not so easy to do, is it? It can be hard "taking off" greed. Or malice. Or evil desires.
It's a lot like taking off your undershirt when you're really sweaty.
It sticks to you.
Much like our old life can stick to us, however badly we want to get it off.

But this is why we have the Holy Spirit.
Some of our layers - those that are most apart of us, closest to our skin, those layers that we're so used to - don't usually come off easily. And we can't take them off ourselves. So God gives us the Holy Spirit.

Remember when you were a kid, four or five years old, and you couldn't get your shirt off. So your mom or dad would tell you to raise your arms and they would yank it off of you. You couldn't take it off yourself, but they could help you do it.
Same way with our sin, our old clothes/life. We can't take those layers off ourselves. But when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, we start to become "renewed in the knowledge of the image of [our] Creator."

That's when we begin to put on "the new self," and we "clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility and patience."

And this is an ongoing process.
Most people do their laundry weekly. But for some reason, we rarely ever take the time to assess our spiritual laundry. We don't take a moment to see if we're still wearing our old, nasty clothes. And we don't let the Holy Spirit "renew" us in the image of our Creator and clothe us with our new life.

So, this week, take some time to see what old clothing your still wearing. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work on those areas of your life. And begin to put on your new clothing, you new self.

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