Eleanor walked into the church and slipped by the greeters unnoticed. She didn’t really want to be here, but promised Amy she would come hear her sing.  Normally, she spent Sunday mornings cleaning.

She looked at her watch.

Couldn’t I be late, just this once?

Not wanting to talk to anyone, Eleanor moved behind a partition to wait for Amy.

“Oh my, look what she’s wearing.”

“I know. Can you believe it? You would think she could find a dress in her wardrobe.”

“Exactly. They’re in God’s house. Show some respect.”

“Look at him. No tie. Come on people!”

Curious of the conversation, Eleanor peeked around the corner. Two ladies, huddled by the mail slots, picked apart what people were wearing as they walked by.

Eleanor looked down at her jeans and wondered what they would say about her.

This is why I don’t come to church. Too many judgemental people.

She slipped out the back door. She’d tell Amy she woke up with a migraine.

The above is a fictional story, but we all know it happens in churches. I realize I’ve touched briefly on this subject before, but a recent comment I heard caused me to want to blog about it specifically.

At a social event, I caught a conversation between two women (it was hard not to as I sat next to them at the table). They were talking about church (neither attends regularly), and one lady mentioned she went to a Baptist church and heard people commenting on what others were wearing. (Yes, it could have easily been any denomination, but I’m just telling you what I heard.)

Mortified by the discussion, she said, “Who cares what they’re wearing?”

I agree! When will we STOP picking apart what we wear to church? God looks at the inside, why don’t we?

Now that I have your attention, let me get on my soap box.

Who cares if someone wears jeans? Who cares if a man doesn’t wear a suit and tie? Heaven forbid we wear shorts to church!

I know what you’re thinking. We were taught as children to dress up for church as we’re going to God’s house. We need to show respect.

Really? That was then, this is now (sorry for the cliché, I couldn’t resist).

We could dress in a three-piece suit, but come with hardened hearts or an unconfessed sin. What do you think God would say to us?

Yes, wash our insides first.

Let’s face it; we’re all guilty of falling into this trap from time to time. Let’s make a conscious decision to stop it!

How about we clothe ourselves with righteousness, and not worry about what others are wearing?

If we did, I believe we would stop wounding each other and be a better witness.

I’m going to try. How about you?

1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV)

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

Matthew 23:28-30 (NIV)

In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.  And you say, “If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.”

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