Luke 11:33-36 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore, if your body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”
I met a woman today. She doesn’t know me nor will she even be able to tell you my name. As I sat at the ministry table, collecting donations for the soldiers, griping and grousing over some perceived slight, a family approached us. She was well dressed, surrounded by her family of 5, a child’s friend, and her husband. Each of her children were appropriately dressed for church (modest cute clothes on the daughters, slacks/golf shirt on son), Bibles in hand, polite, well mannered. It wasn’t so much what they had on but how they acted. Respectful, reverent, polite. No loud talking, no high fives, no wrestling in the lobby. She had obviously impressed upon them the importance of who they were about to stand before.
There was a glow about her that instantly drew us to her. We complimented her on her family, especially their obvious respect for the Lord’s house. She seemed surprised by our words. “This is God’s House. I would accept nothing less from my family” she replied. Instantly aware of my casual state of dress, my less than clean tennis shoes, my lack of makeup, I sat stunned. She was right. How I have let my respect slip away, little by little, dimming my light, covering His light up with the casualness of the world.
If my sweetheart takes me out to dinner, I dress up in my finest clothes, apply makeup (not well but hey! I try), and make sure I will be at my best for the man I love most in the world. Yet I come before my Father in old jeans and tennis shoes. Don’t get me wrong. My God will accept me anyway I come before Him. But when I have the choice, when I am going out to His house, why do I not appear dressed in the best that I have? Why do I not do everything I can to look my best for the man I love most in the entire universe? Why do I not act in a way that would make Him proud of me? Why do I choose to fit into the world instead of fitting into eternity?
Let me clarify by saying that it is not wrong to wear whatever you have to church. God would rather have you in a bathing suit than to not have you at all. I would never judge anyone for anything they wore to church. I used to get so upset because in my old church you were basically asked to leave if you wore anything less than what they deemed appropriate. God does not say that you have to wear a dress/heels/suit/tie to church. He does not say that you have to spend a lot of money to buy fancy clothes. In fact, He doesn’t say anything at all about what you should wear other than not to dress to impress other people and don’t cover yourself with gaudy jewelry (ok I put in the word gaudy…He said gold, silver, and precious stones). As an even further point, God wouldn’t even let Moses wear shoes when he came before Him. (although going barefoot is probably not encouraged) I guess where my heart is going with this is that we should never dress in anything less than our best (whatever our best is) when we go into the house of God. Don’t let your light be dimmed by the casual behavior of the world.
I will remember this woman and her family each time I go to church. I hope I see her again. Just standing in the glow of her light made me happy. Plus, I am hoping that if I stand close enough, some of her parenting skills might rub off on me. Just think. To have all your children well dressed, well spoken, and carrying a Bible into church. And smiling while they are doing it. Sigh. One could only hope.
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