“Behold, I was shapen (brought forth) in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”Psalm 51:5
I grew up in a church that was conservative and strict on everything. There were evangelists at the time who preached against television sets, and I even knew of some who had TV-bashing services. I have heard the television called the “hell-evision”, and when our set broke, my parents did not replace it for several years.
When you went to church, you went in your Sunday best and polyester suits ruled the day, even in the hot summer months. On Sunday morning, everyone looked nice, and there were men I looked up to as I thought they looked very spiritual. Our pastor was well dressed and I really looked up to him. He wore the French cuff dress shirts and the cuff links to match. He always looked sharp, and I can still recall seeing his veins pop out of his neck when he sang, How Great Thou Art. As a youth, I assumed all who wore a suit were spiritual and godly, and I thought I would be assumed to be so as well if I wore my own suit and tie.
I eventually passed this stage and really did not care what others thought, so I ditched the tie and grew out of the suits. I grew older and started to attend church as an adult and as a newly-married man. The people at our church wore suits and beautiful dresses, and I felt compelled to do so as well. I looked sharp and always made sure to have my Sunday Bible. I looked down on others who did not have on their Sunday best, and I felt super spiritual. I thought our church was the only right church, and I thought that the Bible version I read was far superior to the versions other people read. I put on airs with my attire and attitude, and I forgot what manner of man I was.
I looked spiritual and sharp on Sunday, but returned to my sinful antics the rest of the week. My big Bible made me feel confident, but God knew the wickedness of my heart. I fooled those who saw me on Sunday, but I did not fool almighty God. I was lifted up with my own self-righteousness, but my heart was not following after God. II Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” I had a form of godliness, but I did not have God’s power within me. I was self-righteous and was not following God. I forgot my sinful state, and I forgot the iniquity I was shaped in. I tried to run undercover in my suit and tie, but God knew the real me. There is nothing wrong with a suit and tie and standards, but we should not look down on others or think we are more spiritual because of them.
Where are you today friend? Do you look down on others who you feel are not as “spiritual” as you are? Do you try to hide your true self behind your Sunday best? Do you realize God is the only One who can make us righteous? Do you look in the spiritual mirror? James 1:23-24 states, “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror): For he beholdeth (observes) himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner (kind) of man he was.” May we never forget who we are without God, and what we were saved from. May we give all glory to God as He is the One who deserves all the glory. We are mere sinners dependent on a holy God. May we be quick to give Him glory and think twice before we look down on another.