You have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:9-10
We wrapped up the Enneagram series yesterday (more on the Enneagram here). The premise for that sermon series was that each of us has a False Self (Paul calls it the old self) that we hide behind because it's too scary to step into our True Self (Paul calls that the new self), and that our crucial next step is to embrace our belatedness to find the vision, energy and motivation to become that true self. Another word for the True Self/New Self is the imago dei - an old Latin phrase that means 'the image of God.'
Most of our journey on Sundays has been thinking about this individually. This week we're going to pivot to look at the communal nature of the True Self/New Self/imago dei. In our passage today, Paul uses the plural for 'you' and the singular for 'self' to remind us that this journey is the journey of community. The 'you' is the whole church - and together, the whole church reflects the image of God (like Adam and Eve, together, were made in God's image back in Genesis 1:26-27).
As it turns out, the only way to give up living out of our old self is to do it with the help of others. Gossip, lust, racism, pride and virtually all other sins have strong communal components - they break relationship. So it shouldn't surprise us that the healing of that false self is also done in community, also.
For many of us (especially those of us who are White, like me!), it's hard to think of this journey as a communal one. Take time today to ask God to help you take real steps this week into your New Self/True Self with the help of others.