Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.
In Ephesians 4 Paul says we need a new wardrobe. Not furniture, as in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, but clothes as in “chuck out your grubbies and give yourself a new look.”
Or, to quote Paul,
Take off your old self, which is being corrupted by deceitful desires;
be made new in the spirit of your mind, and
put on the new self, created to be like God in righteousness and holiness.”
I’ve always been nervous about shopping for clothes. And Paul makes me even more nervous when he talks about clothes. He doesn’t suggest updating my wardrobe. He suggests updating me. He tells me to ditch my old self, the way I trash old running shoes and old jeans. He tells me to put on a new self.
Old self, new self? Does Paul think I have two personalities? Am I like “Malcolm in the Middle”–sometimes an unruly, snarky, ego-driven teenager, and at other times intelligent and mature?
Paul says, Take off the old frayed self! But that person is not so easily discarded. I’ve found it’s way easier to discard bits of my frayed wardrobe than to discard the frayed bits of me.
Paul is not finished.
He says, Be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Eph 4:23). My mind is the part of me that thinks and feels and believes, so the spirit of my mind must be my underlying disposition, the tenor of heart I bring to mind.
And what spirit do I bring? Do I bring an open mind, ready to receive and meditate on God’s word, ready to hear and obey? Or do I bring a spirit of distracted busyness or dismissive rejection or outright unbelief?
My new self sends my cynicism and unbelief to the laundry; and approaches life with hope and faith. It’s a new way of thinking and feeling, a new spirit of mind, a new self.
This new self is not simply a better behaved version of my old self. It’s not just new clothes on an old body. Rather, it’s a new way of approaching at life, a new attitude, a new person living in my old body. When my new self becomes fully and properly dressed, the pointing fingers will no longer say, “The emperor has no clothes!”
Our father, I wish the Christian life were as easy as a change of clothes. Then I could donate my worn garments to Value Village, and shop at Eddy Bauer.
But when I buy new clothes, they always look like my old ones. Why do I choose practical, drab, conventional garments? I don’t know how to dress fashionably. I don’t know how to look like a new man.
O father, renew the spirit of my mind, give me the gift of your spirit. Help me see my poor fashion choices–the conspiracy theories and cynicism and unbelief I wear. Help me receive a new wardrobe, in the fashion of your kingdom. The belt of truth, the shirt of righteousness, shoes of peace, hat of salvation, and shield of faith (Eph 6:14-16). Help me become a well-dressed man.
I’m Daniel, on the channel “Pray with Me”.
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