9 Don’t lie to each other. Take off the old human nature with its practices 10 and put on the new nature, which is renewed in knowledge by conforming to the image of the one who created it. 11 In this image there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all things and in all people.
12 Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Are you the kind of person who careful lays out their clothes the night before, or are you the kind of person who is pulling clean, but wrinkled clothes, out of the dryer and throwing them on as you run out the door? Whether you’re organized or short on time, we all put on our clothes to face the new day. But how many of us think to put on “the new nature” of Christ?
Paul, writing to the Colossians, explains that in Christ, we no longer belong to the world, our identity in Christ means that we are loved and chosen by God and made holy. We are to put away the sinful life by taking off the “old human nature and its practices” and to instead “put on the new nature” of Christ. The image of Christ is one of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and perseverance. We are chosen to conform to this image of Christ, to be Christ to others in this world. We do this through and in relationship with others as Christ is in relationship with us.
Of all of these traits, humility gets the most overlooked. Humility is seen as a sign of weakness by the world. Jesus, our example, humbled himself to be born as a servant and went to the cross so that we might be saved from sin and death. We humble ourselves in response to God’s grace to ask for forgiveness. Jesus humbled himself to serve others, to heal, to patiently teach, even to be a servant and wash the feet of his disciples as an example for us to follow as we serve others.
Humility shows strength and deep concern for the welfare of others because it acts from God’s love for us. Pride acts from a place of elevating ourselves above others. When we, in our fallen pride and arrogance, impose our own will to control others, then we wrongly assume that we have all the answers. When we act out of this false sense of self- righteousness, rather than love, we inflict harm on others. We may deceive ourselves, but we don’t deceive God.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
We were chosen by God to be living examples of God’s love in the world. The next time you put on clothes for the day, don’t forget to put on the ‘new nature of Christ.” Put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience and follow the humble example of Christ. How can you practice humility in your life today?
Prayer: Holy and Loving God, It is hard for us to be humble. Help us to see those moments when we elevate ourselves by putting others down. Remind us to follow the humble example of Christ who serves with love. Amen.