by Kathy Johnston
My daughter Sophie and I used to enjoy watching a show called “What Not to Wear”. To be in the show, the contestant was required to bring her entire wardrobe which the hosts would then pick through and throw most of it in the garbage, all the while pointing out the error of her ways in regards to her poor choice of clothing. They would then give her $5000 and send her to New York City to shop for a brand new, swanky wardrobe! Guidelines were given on how to pick out clothing that gave a good reflection of her personality and maturity. I always found it interesting how often the contestant would be drawn back to her own habits in fashion choices.
We are all this way spiritually, don’t you think? When I look at Ephesians 4:22-24, I’m reminded of that show. Paul is telling the believers in Ephesus that they need to put off their old self. They were to renew their minds, to train them to think a different way and to put on the new being created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Colossians 1 says that Jesus Christ is the exact likeness or image of the invisible God (An image being an embodiment or living visible manifestation). We also then are to be the image of Christ. 2 Cor. 3:18 says that, “And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of The Lord, are being transformed into the SAME image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from The Lord who is the Spirit.”
The image of God…. hmmmm…. that’s pretty incredible. We are to be a living manifestation of Christ, a living testimony. Now I know that most of the time I don’t come even close to this…. but I am glad that it says we are “BEING transformed.” It’s a process, and a life long one at that!
Do the people around you recognize Jesus in you?
I have to be honest and say I fall very short of that often…. and am afraid that’s true of many Christians. What kind of image do we portray to the people we work with, to our husbands, our kids?
In the show, the hosts, Stacy and Clinton, would pull out of the contestants’ wardrobe some of the most tacky and frumpy outfits and toss them in the trashcan. That’s such a great picture for us. In Colossians 3:5-17, Paul speaks about putting off the old and putting on the new. It takes effort on our part. We have to make an intentional decision to be a part of the transformation God wants to do in us. He wants to transform us into the image of his Son.
What’s in YOUR wardrobe? What are you choosing to put off or put on?
Paul mentions many things that we need to put off. Are any of these things hanging in your spiritual closet:
- sexual immorality
- impure thoughts
- anger or rage
- gossip or slander
- lies or deceit
- dirty language?
If so, it’s time to bring that whole old wardrobe to the foot of the cross, dump it out and put it in the trash.
But don’t stop there! That’s just the first step. Colossians 3:12-14 tells us what our new wardrobe should look like. As we submit ourselves to the work of his Holy Spirit, we gradually are transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. God begins to change our old habits and ways of thinking by renewing our minds. As he exposes those areas in us that need to be put off, he gives us new garments in their place. Things like kindness, compassionate hearts, humility, meekness, forgiveness and love.
At the end of each episode of What Not to Wear, the contestant would be brought into the room with Stacy and Clinton and would proudly display her “new image”. Everyone would be amazed by the transformation and the contestant would go home vowing to never “put on” those old things again.
Girls, God is in the business of transforming us all. Remember what it says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “we are BEING transformed.” Unlike the show What Not to Wear, our transformation is a process as we learn to put off the old and put on the new. It takes a lifetime. And someday, we will stand before Jesus, our Bridegroom, and he will see us without spot or blemish, holy and without fault.
Now THAT’s the kind of transformation I’m looking for!
Are you still being tempted to put on those old “clothes”? That’s not you anymore. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come.”
I guarantee you the enemy will try to get you to put on some of that old stuff. But don’t do it! As Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
You’ve got a brand new wardrobe, PUT IT ON!