Just as we often change the types of clothing we wear to fit a particular change of environment, atmosphere, or occasion, those whose lives have been forever changed by the goodness of God in Christ Jesus have been commanded to clothe themselves with the appropriate attire fitting to be God's chosen. The Greek word that is used here is endysasthe. It simply refers to the action of a person getting dressed. It is a daily wardrobe decision, so to speak.
This clothing, though, is not a fashion statement. Rather, it is a love statement. Paul would follow this list of options by saying, "And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (v. 14) Just as clothing choices can be made or ruined by the wrong choice of socks, shoes, belt, etc., the virtues will never be brought together perfectly without love.
Here are the implications:
1) The life of the believer should be evidently changed!
Compassion must replace coldness.
Kindness must replace cruelty.
Humility must replace haughtiness.
Gentleness must replace violence.
Patience must replace intolerance.
Some clothes just shouldn't fit anymore.
2) There is a higher occasion for which to live!
Because we have been chosen of God, we are given this command to change the way we "clothe ourselves". We are now ambassadors of our redeemer! Our "life clothing"should rightly reflect our new life in Christ Jesus.
As we approach different stages of our lives (i.e. grow older, gain weight/lose weight, change professions/jobs, etc.), we often alter our outward dress to match the circumstance. So it is with our lives in Christ!
Coldness. Cruelty. Haughtiness. Violence. Intolerance. Sounds like a wardrobe that could use a makeover, doesn't it? It just doesn't fit anymore. It is no longer appropriate, nor was it ever.
And, don't forget to put on love! No spiritual transformation or life change is complete without it; it holds everything else together!
Choose to wear the clothing of the chosen!