Stripping Away the Old Self

“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other since you have taken off your old self with its practices.” – Colossians 3:8-9 

In the ancient city of Colossae, nestled in the heart of Asia Minor, there lived a community of believers who were grappling with the transformational power of faith. The Apostle Paul, writing to these early Christians, used their surroundings to convey a profound message about spiritual renewal. 

Imagine the scene: a busy marketplace, where people haggled and bartered for goods. In the midst of this lively setting, Paul’s words echo, “Take off your natural clothes.” But he wasn’t speaking of physical garments. He was addressing the spiritual attire that each believer wears. 

The historical account in Colossians reminds us of the significance of this metaphor. Just as one would shed old, worn-out clothing for fresh garments, we, too, are called to cast off the old self. Paul lists the tattered vestiges of our former lives: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language. These are the garments that no longer fit the transformed heart of a believer. 

But it doesn’t end with stripping away the old. Paul continues, “Do not lie to one another.” Honesty and truthfulness must replace the falsehoods we once clung to. Why? Because, as Paul points out, we’ve “put off” our old selves with their deceitful ways. 

The historical context of Colossae reminds us that spiritual transformation is an ongoing process. Just as one must consciously remove old clothes and put on new ones daily, we must continually shed our old, sinful habits and embrace the righteousness that comes from Christ. 

So, what’s the message for us today? As we walk the path of faith, let us remember that we are called to daily discard the sinful attitudes and behaviors that once defined us. We must actively clothe ourselves in love, compassion, and truth. Just as the people of Colossae were urged to put away their old garments, we, too, are encouraged to take off our natural clothes of anger, deceit, and falsehood. Instead, let us be adorned with the righteousness of Christ, walking in the light of His truth, and living out our faith as a testimony to His transforming power. 

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bible verse

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

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