I like the way Paul uses clothing metaphor to describe how believers are to be different from non-believers. I think of how styles change from season to season, especially women’s clothes, and when a person wishes to express their moods, they select colors or styles that reflect that mood. It is also said that clothing tells something about that person. So Paul relates changing or putting on “clothing” that reflect compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience and putting off “clothing” of our earthly nature, some of which are sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed.
I see a major problem in doing so as we get all too used to our “earthly
Nature’ clothing. Some of our “earthly clothing” may be too comfortable to replace, like an old t-shirt that we worn so long that it has become a favorite, or shirt, or dress that has gotten favorable comments through time. When we get too comfortable with things, it is difficult to “toss out” or give away to Good Will. Becoming a “new person” can be uncomfortable.
When we need to feel like a “new person” do we buy new clothes or put on something different or fresh? Putting on new clothes or fresh clothes really don’t do much if we don’t bathe or shower before! The real issue in changing into a new man or woman is from the inside-spiritually. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit an real change take place- a process of sanctification-a life long process. II Corinthians 5:16-17 puts it this way: “So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.”