Teenage boys aside, most of us probably put on clean clothing regularly. Feeling clean and fresh often motivates us in a positive direction for the day ahead. In fact, one of the main suggestions for recovery from depression involves showering and putting on clean clothes every day.
Wearing clothing appropriate for the situation is also important. I won’t exercise in a dress, and I don’t wear my exercise clothes to church on Sunday morning. Appropriateness in what we wear impacts how we feel about ourselves and shows the importance we place on an activity.
Another example involves getting new clothes, which often revives a stale season of life. Most women and their husbands understand that a new piece of clothing can brighten a woman’s day.
While these changes of clothing are temporary, many seek long-term happiness in changing what they wear physically. In reality, though, our physical clothing has limited impact on our long-term reality.
New Nature Clothing
Our spiritual clothing works in similar ways to our physical clothing, but it holds far greater and more long-term impact. In fact, when our internal clothing reflects that of our new nature in Christ, we discover an eternal perspective that transforms our living, growing, and connecting.
Consider how, based on Colossians 3, our new nature clothing impacts us not only individually but also in every relationship.
- New nature clothing represents a growing knowledge of Christ. (v. 10)
- The right spiritual clothing creates peace that rules the heart. (v. 15)
- Style and social position don’t matter with new nature clothing. (v. 11)
- Continued thankfulness renews and refreshes the “outfit.” (vv. 15-17)
- Love completes the “look” and brings unity. (v. 14)
Most of us don’t make our own clothing but instead purchase what we want to wear. Our new nature clothing was also purchased and not something we make on our own. Only through Christ do we have this “clothing” to wear. Not only did he purchase this clothing for us, but it never wears out. It never needs replaced.
“You’ve become a new person. This new person is continually renewed in knowledge to be like its Creator.” (Colossians 3:10)
Renewal and Relationships
So how does this continued renewal of our new natures by the spiritual clothing we put on impact our relationships?
Our new nature clothing affects the atmosphere of the inner self, which then creates the pervading mood that others see and that governs our relationships. In other words, how we dress our hearts determines how we live out love through our relationships.
Relationships provide the opportunity to express the love that our relationship with Christ generates. Only when we clothe ourselves in the new nature clothing of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, forgiveness, thankfulness, and love that come through knowing Jesus do we then have a demeanor that serves to positively cultivate New Nature Relationships.