“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”Colossians 3:16
I was raised in a home that believed in wearing your Sunday best. The term, “Sunday best” did not originate with our family but we carried on the long-standing tradition. I would prepare Saturday night by carefully choosing and laying out my clothes. I did not have much in those days, and I considered my green M.A.S.H. 4077 socks to be part of my very best. I wanted to look sharp, and I admired our pastor who was always dressed to the nines. I remember his sharp suit, his collar bar and tie, and his French cuff dress shirts. He looked like a professional businessman, and there was not a wrinkle on his shirt. His collar was snug around his neck, and it pressed against his throat as he sang. I wanted to be a pastor like him, and I wanted to look as dapper as he did.
I got older and still liked looking dapper and dressing my best for Sunday service. I had my own array of suits with nice paisley ties and even a French cuff shirt. I dressed to impress others more than anything else, and I judged others on how they looked at Sunday church. I would judge those who did not wear a suit like me, and I would be extra critical of those who wore shorts and a t-shirt. I associated my spirituality with my attire, and I wondered why anyone would go to church without their Sunday best. I assumed they knew better, and in my pride, I looked down on these people while I strutted by with my suit, tie, and leather-bound Bible. I looked in the mirror at my outside, but I did little to examine my inner self.
1 Samuel 16:7 states, “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance (appearance), or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” Sadly, I was more interested in how I looked at church rather than how God viewed me. I was not there to truly worship, but I was there to check church attendance off my list and to show others how nice I thought I looked. I failed to realized that God saw right through the suit and knew the wickedness of my heart. I was caught up in how worship could benefit me instead of being there to worship my God.
I am not saying it is wrong to wear your “best” to church, but it ought not be our focus. We do not know the story of everyone who enters the church doors, and we ought not judge others on what they wear and how they look. Our concern should lie with how God sees them as opposed to what we see. Our heart ought to be ready to worship our Lord and teach and admonish one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Our voices should be primed to sing with grace in our hearts to the Lord, and our hearts should be prepared to hear what God would have for us. It is the Lord’s day and not a day for us to bring attention to ourselves and put on airs.
Where are you today friend? Do you see others who walk through the doors of your church as God sees them, or do you judge them on how they look? Are you more concerned with your attire than you are with your own heart? What are your motives as you attend church? Do you go to worship the Lord or do you seek your own motives in worship? Church is more than doing a good deed, but it is our time to worship our God. May we ask Him to prepare our hearts as we enter the door, and our prayer be as found in Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: “And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”