Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. — Romans 13:14
Several weeks ago, Lauren and I took our kids to Abilene to hang out with their grandparents and we went to San Antonio, just the two of us. While there, we went to Gruene Hall in Gruene, TX and took a swing dance class. Lauren loves to dance and she is a good dancer. I, on the other hand, love Lauren. Dancing is not one of my strengths. As we started the class, we would learn the first 2-3 steps and then we would practice those moves over and over again. After the teacher felt like we should have mastered those steps, she would add the next several moves and again we would practice. What I found, as we added moves, is that I would be so amazed that I got the first steps down, I would forget that I was supposed to keep going. I would be celebrating completing step three while Lauren is moving on to step four. Needless to say, dancing isn’t so natural for me. Neither is living like Christ.
Paul writes that we are to put on Christ like we put on clothes, that as we let Christ have authority over our lives and our every decision, it is not going to exactly feel like you. It is going to feel like something you wear. Like dancing, it is going to feel unnatural at first. It’s why Paul keeps having to remind his readers to “put on Christ” or “put on your new self” or “don’t turn back.” Because that’s the frustrating truth about transformation. It takes time. It’s a process. We learn a few steps here and a few steps there. But as we stay at it, as we continue to dance His dance, and walk in His way, and love with His love, it actually becomes our truest and most authentic self. It stops feeling like clothes and starts to feel like our new self.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come,” and in Galatians: “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” In the eyes of God, we are new creations and Jesus will spend our entire life completing that work in our hearts until the day when all creation will be made new.