“…you have taken off your old self with its 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…”
When I read these words I always picture someone taking off an old coat and replacing it with a bright and clean new one. I’m sure that is what Paul wanted us to imagine. It sounds like a great trade, and an easy task. So why do I still walk around wearing my worn-out coat?
- It’s comfortable. Notice I didn’t say warm, or pretty, or right for me. But that’s how it is with our old ways, isn’t it? I’ll speak for myself and say that my bad habits are deeply ingrained. My stinky attitudes have become familiar friends.
I know it’s time to get rid of that old coat. If I’m honest it doesn’t really fit quite right anymore, and I feel kind of drab in it. But what’s left of my worldly thinking wonders if I could just get the thing dry cleaned instead of trading it in for a whole new model.
- I’m sentimental. My closet has clothes in it that I don’t intend to wear again. They are outdated, or tired-looking or not my style these days. Keeping them is silly, really, but the idea of throwing them out or passing them on leaves me feeling unsettled.
Change can be scary, but it’s usually for the better, at least in the end. But my old self wants to cling to the past, to hold onto what I already understand rather than step into the unknown that lies ahead.
Sorry to carry the metaphor so far, but it really speaks to me.
How about you – have you taken off your old coat yet and handed it over? Or are you choosing to keep the familiar garment even it’s not the best choice for you?