What Not To Wear

Krista Williams

Day: 23 | Plan: Christ Alone

Today’s Reading: Colossians 3

Colossians 3:2 (NIV) "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

Have you ever been in a hurry and so you kept some of your old clothes on while you were trying on a new outfit? I have, and it did not look so good. If you and I are going to wear a brand-new outfit, we must take off the old one.

In Colossians 3 Paul moves from who Christ is and what we have in Christ to how we are to live out our new life in Him. As believers in Christ, we are called to live a life that is distinctly different from the world around us.

Immediately, Paul instructs us to set our hearts and minds on things above and not on the things of this world. Paul knows that what we desire and focus our attention on usually determines what we do. He wants us to look up so we can focus our attention on Christ. The best Christian living comes from hearts and minds that focus on the eternal.

To live with an eternal focus, Paul commands us to put to death whatever is worldly in us. There are some specific things — some habits, attitudes, practices and sins — in our worldly wardrobe that need to go. We can’t tolerate, or try to control, or stay comfortable, or suppress the deeds, habits and attitudes of the flesh. We must begin to remove and separate ourselves from any destructive behavior or attitudes associated with the flesh. (Galatians 5:24; Matthew 5:29-30) In other words, sin has no place in our lives. We must take off:

  • Sensuality—“sexual immorality, impurity, passions, evil desires, and covetousness” (Colossians 3:5; Galatians 5:17; Galatians 5:19-21; Mark 7:20-23)

  • Evil attitudes—“anger, wrath, malice” (Colossians 3:8; Ephesians 4:31)

  • Evil speech—“slander, and filthy language” (Colossians 3:8; James 1:26)

  • Deception—“Do not lie to one another” (Colossians 3:9; Psalm 34:13)

The list of what not to wear is long, and all these things are contrary to who we are in Christ. By faith, we must put off the old habits and sins that had us bound and put on the character of Christ.

What do those wear who belong to Christ and are the beloved of the Lord?

  • Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12)

  • Forgiveness and peace (Colossians 3:13; Colossians 3:15)

  • Thankfulness, wisdom, gratitude and praise (Colossians 3:15b-17)

  • Submission and obedience (Colossians 3:18-22)

And the love of Christ is the outer garment that binds all these virtues together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:14) As believers in Christ, these virtues should radiate from our lives. We don’t put on these attributes to please others or to win favor. We put them on with a sincere heart and out of reverence for God, remembering it is Christ we are serving and not ourselves.

How well are you modeling these truths?

The more we read and contemplate God’s Word and intentionally focus our minds on the things of God, we will progressively look more and more like Christ and less and less like who we were. Our perspective will change. Our priorities will change. Our relationships will change. The way we treat others will change.

Who will we identify with — the world or Jesus?

Today will we be clothed in the deeds of the flesh or the character of Christ? Are we still trying to wear both at the same time? What are we wearing that we need to take off and what do we need to put on? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have given me an entirely new wardrobe in Christ! His righteousness in me lets me take off what was old and replace it with the new. I pray that You would help me to see how worn-out and ugly my old ways are. I desperately want to bring You glory by putting on the heart and mind of Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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