Gleanings (01/03/12) – Getting Naked?

Ephesians 4:17-32

“Put off . . . and put on . . .”

Are you reluctant to toss out old clothes? I have some favorites I can’t seem to release to the heap. One is Hard Rock Café t-shirt which is really a play on an Army base canteen at Eagle Base in Bosnia. I bought it while there on an Air Force goodwill tour in 2001. It was a once in a lifetime kind of trip and the t is a wonderful reminder of it. Ten years later it is pit stained and coming apart at the seams. But I still wear it. Sure it has been reduced to running and beach/lake attire but I can’t give it up! I have several other such garments, some that go back 25 years. You?

Such reluctance to “put off” can play itself out in our spiritual journey. Like comfort food or clothing, some vices make us feel quite at home. We’ve worn them so long we would rather not give them up.

The Apostle Paul recognized that in us. When we become a follower of the Way and the author of it, we are to put off some things and put on others. We put off “all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander” along with malice. That’s a rather extensive list and probably includes for each of us at least one old garment that needs to go.

Are you holding on to any of those clothes? Are they tattered and discolored. Is it time to throw them out?

Once stripped of our old clothes, we are meant to put on new ones (kindness, tenderheartedness, forgiveness). We can be reluctant to do that as well. I have a Christmas gift that seems a little trendy. I am not sure if it is my style. I’ve never worn anything like it so it doesn’t feel quite right. But that is a thought for another day. First we need to get naked. Let us begin with an inventory of what needs to go. Open up the closet and let the inventory begin.

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