Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Window dressing

Do you attend one of those churches where the women wear designer clothes and carry designer purses?  Do you feel uncomfortable with it, like I do?  Does it make you feel like you're inferior since you don't have designer clothes and/or an expensive purse?

If you wear designer clothes and carry an expensive purse to church, think about what kind of message you're sending to someone who is visiting your church for the first time.  Are you implying that if they don't dress like you do that they won't be welcome in your church?

God looks at the interior, not the exterior.  What's in your heart is more important than what you wear or the purse you carry. In 1 Samuel 16:7(b), the Lord says to Samuel, "For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

A humble, God-fearing spirit is more attractive and more important than fancy clothes, fancy hairdos and jewelry or an expensive purse.  In 1 Peter 3:3-4, Peter says:  "Do not let your adornment be merely outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel - rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."  In 1 Timothy 2:9, Paul also speaks to this issue.  He says: ". . .in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing. . ." For those who think they need to dress better than they normally do as a sign of respect to God, that's fine too, but you can pull it off without the designer clothes and the expensive purse.  Jesus didn't wear Birkenstocks, just regular sandals, and He didn't have a place to lay His head.

There is a difference between dressing modestly and nicely and dressing ostentatiously.  The former is pleasing to God, while the latter is showing off.  God is not impressed by fancy clothing.  It reminds me of the Laodiceans in the book of Revelations.  They acted and dressed like they were better than everyone else too.  But hear what Jesus says to the Laodiceans:  "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' - and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked - I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see."

If God has blessed you with wealth, you should share it with others in need.  Instead of paying $200.00 for a Coach purse, perhaps you could spend $20.00 for a Kmart purse and donate the rest to your church or to a charity.  Purses break and wear out, but good deeds performed for others in need will buy you rewards in Heaven, which is much more important.  In 1 Timothy 6:18-19, Paul says, "Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."

That's all for now.  See you soon!