You laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—Col 3:9b-10 NASB
Renewed. That word has never had much force for me. Remember the dryer setting called Air Fluff? It was a setting with no heat, a gentle tossing, designed to freshen linens that had been in storage, or perhaps to fluff a pillow that had gotten flat and worn over time. That’s what the word renew makes me think of—fluffing up, maybe the addition of a little scent, designed to make something that is a bit stale seem fresher.
But in the margin of my Bible, there is a note about that word renewed. It says:
Renovated? Well, that gives me a completely different idea! We renovated our kitchen this winter, and it certainly wasn’t a fluff job. The cabinets were torn out, the walls stripped down to bare studs, the windows and door replaced…even the ceiling and floor didn’t escape the purge! My husband worked for many long hours, and the transformation was dramatic. Now it looks absolutely nothing like the old room, even though the outside shell is still the same. Not only are the colors and finishes brighter, but it is completely different to work in. The cabinet doors close properly. There is light where once there were dark corners. The new insulation in the walls makes it warm instead of cold and drafty. There is a spacious feel when before it was cramped. It is simply a different room!
When I look at the passage above, I realize that Renew is actually a perfectly good word—it means “made new,” after all—but I simply hadn’t thought of it in quite that way. Renewal isn’t the ka-chunk of a library stamp or the click of mouse button. It’s not just writing a check in order to receive another year’s subscription to Reader’s Digest. Renewal is a complete makeover! It’s ripping out the old stuff and installing brand new! The Complete Jewish Bible words the end of verse 9 more strongly: “you have stripped away the old self, with its ways.” Stripped away! There is definitely more ‘oomph’ there…a bit more intense than “laid aside,” isn’t it?
But not only is this process a complete destruction of the old you and putting on a whole new you. It also says that the new self is being renewed! God isn’t content to simply give you a “new You”—He is constantly working on that new self, too, making it even better. I also really like the CJB interpretation of verse 10.
“and have put on the new self which is continually being renewed in fuller and fuller knowledge, closer and closer to the image of its Creator.”
Col 3:10 Complete Jewish Bible
God isn’t content with a one-time makeover. He isn’t finished with the remodel job. He keeps working on us all our lives.
…fuller and fuller knowledge
…closer and closer to the image of our Creator.
Yes, Lord. That is exactly, exactly what I want!
Make a new “me”…not just once, but continually.
Teach me more and more.
Transform me again and again.
Bring me closer and closer to Your Image!