You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
It would seem reasonable, even expected, that putting on a new self would be easy. What has the old self given us anyway? It’s broken after all! Why should we wear it’s ill-fitting, unflattering tatters any longer? It would seem reasonable that to be naked and without self at all would be a better option than clutching at what never really fit in the first place.
We’ve taken this new self—these rich robes like Joseph’s many colors—a gift from our Father. We’ve taken them and we celebrate them…and still we keep the old. Tucked back and away of course. Not worn everyday or everywhere, but still we tend to keep them.
Why is it that once we are made new we like to live as if we are left old? Why is it not so simple to turn and walk and never look back?
We know the truth of it: Our old self lies to us. Our old self has nothing to offer us. But it is ours. It feels like a belonging we fear to leave; albeit a hurtful belonging. And so we seek to live in Life while still clutching shattered death. We want to keep in step with the Spirit and walk the narrow way, but cannot seem to let go. It does not make sense and it is a daily struggle, this leaving.
Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! 2 Corinthians 5:17 MSG
Look at it! Look at this new life we’ve been given. See it in contrast to the life we’ve left. A fresh start, a clean slate, no remembering for yesterday’s corruption. We are new, may we leave the old behind.