motive

Boys Dressed Up on Easter Sunday

 

I was new to faith and new at Faith Baptist Church. I was getting ready for an evening service and my Mom asked me if I was going to go in jeans. I had pulled on a pair of freshly pressed black jeans. (My mom was and is an ironing fanatic.) I have a friend who was interning at a church and he wore dress jeans to an evening service and that was the beginning of the end of his internship. There was a pastor who took off his jacket while preaching because it was hot. Within six months, he was a pastor without a church. Each of those stories are from the late eighties and early nineties.

I have been listening to comments via the internet over the last few weeks and have been giving consideration to appropriate Sunday attire. I have been process thinking on this and have talked to people on this topic over the last few weeks. Personally, I have preached in blue jeans and I have suited up and I am so not the author of truth. So what I have done, or not done, is so immaterial.

I do appreciate a verse in a description of how God looks on the individual.

[7] But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 ESV)

We know that God smiled on David because his heart was about the things of God. In all of David’s failures, his heart still beat about the things that God is about. And deep within our hearts there is something that we can find that may or may not have been talked about as we have thought about what we wear to church: motive. One of the things that I think we can sometimes miss in our discussion is the why behind our actions. For our purposes the question could be asked: Why did so-and-so wear such-and-such?

Why do I wear, what I wear, on Sunday, or any other day? Is what I wear to show that I rock or that God rocks?

I have tried to wisely counsel brides-to-be for the big day, that they shouldn’t want to draw unnecessary attention to any particular part of their body, but to God. (C.J. Mahaney clued me in to that helpful tip in his book Worldliness.) We know that our society says that a wedding is the bride’s day but in fact it is really God’s day…every day is God’s day and we are to bring glory to Him in whatever we do.

[31] So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
(1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)

I heard the story of a young gun on a music team who dyed his hair pink. His pastor asked the why question? He said he wanted to draw attention to himself. He sat on the bench over the next few weeks. It was an opportunity for him to meditate on 1 Corinthians 10:31. What he did on Sunday morning should not have been about himself. This time sitting on the sidelines gave him opportunity for an attitude to develop that was more God-focused and less him-focused. We are not to communicate to people by the way that we dress that we got it goin’ o-on…but that God is magnificent. He is stunning. It’s so not about us.

There’s a passage for ladies to consider that applies to how we dress.

[9] likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, [10] but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.
(1 Timothy 2:9-10 ESV)

I think there’s a big principle in this text that can apply to both men and women. We’re not to dress to cause a wow factory when we step into God’s house. We’re not to dress in a way that has the opposite sex looking at us with their tongues hanging out (for all to see or tongues hanging out in their heads). Women, it says, are to adorn themselves with good works. That’s what we want people to really see in our lives and those good works draw attention to the good God we serve. (Matthew 5:16)

So in wrapping this up, can a person in a suit or a person dressed in jeans, can they both be in sin? Absolutely. Billy Blue Jeans can wear jeans with an ‘I’m not going to let anyone tell me what to wear’ attitude. And Dress Up Derwin can have an “I’m better than anyone else in the house’ attitude in light of his Sunday best.

1 Corinthians 15 reminds us about the most important things in our beliefs. The closer you get to the cross, the closer you get to Jesus, the more important our beliefs are. I believe that what we wear, particularly on Sunday morning, is such a Romans 14 grey area preference thing. But at the same time we should sincerely check our hearts, for right or wrong motives, before we walk through the doors into God’s house.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s