On a Mission 10-2014

There were two things that I distinctly remember not liking about going to “church” when I was a boy.  Those two things were not the singing and the preaching as one might guess.  It was the clothes I had to wear… and those two things being the pants and the shoes.

I had one pair of “church” pants and one pair of “church” shoes for what seemed like years! From my recollection, these polyester “church” pants were about a size and a half too small in the waist and two or three inches too short in length (the original “High Waters”… no Hyde County pun intended).  As with the pants, the shoes as I remember were also at least a size too small.  I did use a shoe horn to get them on if that tells you anything.  I dreaded having to go to church knowing that I would be required to outfit myself in that torturing apparel.  I am thankful that I no longer have to put on those pants and shoes to go to “church” any more.

You may not have realized it but the Bible does give us a dress code on how we should dress or clothe ourselves for “church”.  Actually, this dress code does not just apply to Sundays but to every day of the week and to no matter where we are.  The Apostle Paul wrote these words to the Colossian church:  “ Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Col. 3: 12 NLT)  Then in verse 14, Paul follows up with this statement: Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. (Col. 3: 14)

I have heard many debates and opinions on what one should wear to “church”However,from my study of the scripture, I have found little in the Bible that actually addresses the topic of outer appearance in this context.  On the contrary, much is said about the way we should clothe ourselves inwardly.

Wearing jeans and a t-shirt no more makes a person humble than wearing dress slacks and a polo shirt makes one gentle… nor does wearing a coat and tie make one love his brother. See, articles of clothes cannot display these values.  Dressed up or dressed down… only a heart that is filled with Jesus can genuinely display the virtues that Paul describes in Colossians 3.

In 1 Samuel chapter 16, God was about to anoint a new king over Israel.  God had rejected Saul as king because of his disobedience.  God sent his prophet Samuel to Jesse in Bethlehem to anoint the new king.  When Samuel saw one of Jesse’s sons Eliab he said: ““Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” (v.6)  Samuel must have said this because Eliab was big, strong and “king” looking.  But this is what the Lord said to Samuel: “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (v.7)  God rejected six more of Jesse’s strapping sons, seven in total.  However, God chose David, Jesse’s youngest son, the shepherd boy, to be his new king.

After this meditation came to me, I realized that I need to pay a lot more attention to what I am wearing… not just to church but around the house… to work… to the grocery store…etc.  The next time you ask yourself, “what should I wear?”… Consider pulling something out of God’s wardrobe such as humility, gentleness, mercy, kindness, patience or love.  I guarantee you that you will look great in it!