EDITOR’S NOTE: When brother Totty wrote this (1979) there were movements to begin dressing “as-you-come”. Since that time, people have become more slovenly in their dress. Today, people dress like panhandlers, or like they are been wallowing with pigs, even in funerals and weddings and they are certainly have no respect for the Lord by their dress in worship.
It is not the weave nor the cut of the cloth of our garments nor even the adornment of the person with jewels of gold, silver and precious stones that make a man a Christian; but, rather, it is our good works by which we are to be judged in the house of God. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus teaches us distinctly that our wealth and display of it is not going to buy our way into heaven. Rather, we are to be clothed with humility (1 Pet. 5:5).
However, there are some things we would like to point out that we might give some consideration to also. In our day, there is a growing tendency toward a casual lifestyle and manner of dress to the extent that it might make one wonder whether or not we consider seriously the occasion when we meet to worship God.
Which of us would go to some wedding dressed as casually as we sometimes see persons dressed to attend the worship of the Lord? Or would we be seen attending the funeral of a beloved relative or friend without giving due consideration to Our attire? If it were noised abroad that the President of the United States would meet with us for a dinner engagement, we would all put our proverbial “best foot forward.” We would polish our shoes, clean and press our clothes and be in tip-top condition to greet him.
Well, let us think about the contrast between the President and the Lord of heaven. There is no comparison. The Lord meets with us every Lord I s day around the tab 1e to commemorate his death and suffering for our eternal salvation; yet, we sometimes think nothing about appearing sloppily dressed to receive the Great Guest, whereas we would not remotely consider receiving the President in our homes without donning the best we had.
We are commanded to serve God with reverence (Heb. 12:28); that is, we are to consider the seriousness of the occasion and give due respect to Him who died for us. In the Old Testament worship, the priests could not go into the tabernacle, or temple, with unwashed clothes; and those who bore the vessels of the tabernacle could not be unkempt. Shouldn’t we give a little more consideration to our appearance when we come together to serve and worship the God of heaven? We should not, of course, want to dress to that we would call attention to ourselves, either by overdressing or dressing in too casual a manner. But we can all see that our clothing is neat, that our hair is clean and combed, etc.
Let us remember that we are the light of the world. We don’t want to cast reflections upon the Lord who gave His life for our sins.