“Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.”– Luke 20:46
Yesterday I was put on the spot by our pastor. It wasn’t a bad thing, but I felt awkward. I was wearing shorts with a polo shirt and I was afraid people were going to judge me for wearing this type of clothing in our “traditional” service. This is not like me. However, we have just started attending and I am going to be their Christian Education Director, so I felt like I should be making a good impression. It isn’t like my clothes were spotted or wrinkled, it was just casual.
Then, it dawned on me…who cares?! I did not get the job based on my clothes. I was not attending church with my family for a fashion show, but to worship Jesus. Clothes do not make the worshiper a better worshiper, in fact, if we were to be honest they could distract from worship. I am not calling for nude worship, so don’t get crazy, but I am calling for us to not worry about clothing.
I think we have all been at this place before, well, maybe most. We have worried about our hair, our make-up (I think there is a hyphen in there), our shoes, even our Bible! Our image is what makes us, but should it be? The only image we are called to bear is the image of our Creator, not Armani or Ralph Lauren or Gap. Yet, for some reason we have allowed social standards of “good looks” seep into our worship. Why?
Some might say “Dressing up nice is a way to show respect to God, especially since we are in His house!” My response to that is: Isn’t God everywhere? If we truly believe that He is everywhere we are, then maybe we need to rethink how we dress every day?
Praise, worship, fellowship, or any other activity should never be based on how we look. It is ok if we feel the need to dress up. It is alright if we feel the need to look good. However, it is not alright if you feel the need to do these things in order to satisfy the desires of the rest of the congregation or because you think you are meeting a need of God’s. He has called us to come as we are. He desires nothing more and nothing less.
The church building should be a place of comfort and peace. If we put the pressure of cleaning up and looking nice on those who are not a part of the body, then why would they come? If we can’t allow people to dress the way they feel and not the way we want, then are we missing the point? Christ never had the beggars change clothes before He served them and He never had His disciples change outfits before they followed. Some were fisherman that dropped their nets, so they still smelled like fish. The only people He had issues with were those who wore fancy clothes and bells to draw attention to their ‘righteousness”. Put away the church clothes and come as you are.
Question: Should we be worried about the way we dress to our worship gathering?