Vintage Self vs New Self
Do you know what it means to be a new creation?
I was walking down the busy streets of Queen Street West and walked past a vintage shop that had written on its wall:
“Funny how the new things are the old things”
– Rudyard Kipling
At first I chuckled to myself. As a fashion lover, I often wish that if I hold onto an old item of clothing I dearly love, it might and (hopefully) come back into style so I can wear it again. So as I chuckled, I thought “it is funny”… but then I was like “wait… that sucks”. As my brain turned into an ecclesiastical mind-set, I found myself thinking “wow… There really is nothing new under the sun”.
So what does it mean to be a new creation? In Colossians 3, Paul talks about the putting off of the old self and putting on the new self. In this analogy of changing clothes, Paul encourages believers that the old will never come back in style… AND THANK GOD! Do you know what my old is? It’s depression, its suicide, its self loathing and hate, its isolation and anxiety, it is not pure joy (which is my new identity). Paul includes greed, anger, slander, and malicious behaviour as some of the “old” things we are to put off. Those character traits and emotions and behaviour (aka NOT your ingrained personality) was our life before Christ. We used to wear them with pride, thinking that we were protecting ourselves, moving ahead in life, and doing the best we can with what we’ve got. If you are like me, I know when I wore (or wear) these qualities I feel heavy, I feel lost, I feel overwhelmed and confused as to why I don’t have peace in my life.
Well here’s the good news. The “old clothing” of our lives before Christ will never come back in style. We don’t have to hang onto greed and anger, worried that if we let these things go we will be lacking in the future. We will never have a wall that says “Funny, how its cool again to be sad, depressed, and lonely without the hope of a saviour”. I think if Jesus could write on that wall he might write
“Funny how you keep your old dirty clothes, when I’ve given you a luxurious white righteous robe – Throw them out! Don’t worry my child, they’ll never be back in fashion again, because I am doing something new in you”
- Jesus Christ
Through the Holy Spirit and grace we now have the ability to clothe ourselves in tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility (this is not thinking you are nothing… but that’s another blog), gentleness, and patience, making allowance for others faults and ushering in forgiveness. Above all clothe yourself in love.
How beautiful are these qualities. How attractive is someone who walks this out. How free and at peace are they? I could really care less if someone with these qualities walked up to me in a 1977 vintage one of a kind real fur leather jacket, as I would be more concerned about sitting in their beautiful Christ like presence; basking in their acceptance and love of me.
Maybe this is hard for you to do and that’s ok. But please be encouraged that your past – the old self – is not the new self Jesus has created in you. You are a new creature, defined by Christ, walking forward in newness of life. So put those things down and walk away knowing that you will never need them again.
In truth and love,