12 Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. 14 And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
Have you ever been told to, “Put on your Sunday best”? I have. Many times. And it’s usually about my Sunday attire. Especially in the early days when I decided not to wear a suit to Sunday service. I heard it enough times on Sunday that I think the people telling me to wear a suit or tie thought it was a scriptural verse.
Colossians 3:12-14 reads a little differently in the New International Version, substituting “clothe” for “put on.” But the message is the same. When Jesus mentions clothing in the Bible, He’s usually more upset with dressing up than dressing down.
The only time I’ve found God upset about clothing was in the Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14) when the man wasn’t wearing the wedding proper attire. I don’t believe God was stating a preference for our Sunday outfits in this parable.
I believe we should be clothed properly when going to a church service—but inwardly, not outwardly.
Jesus made the same point about the Pharisees. Make no mistake about it, these guys were dressed for church. These guys wore clothes that showed respect and reverence.
But the only clothing God cares about is that we are clothed with Christ.
Clothes don’t make the man (or woman). But somewhere down the line that teaching has infected our churches.
People argue that we would dress up to see the President or go in front of a judge so we should dress up to go to “the house of God.” But I never dressed up for my Dad!
So many fallacies accepted, especially about the house of God. God lives in my heart. And whenever two or more are gathered in his name it’s church. Church isn’t a building, it’s the people. But that’s another lesson for another day.
Suffice it to say when we are getting ready for a church service we start on the inside first.
by Rick Reed
For Pondering & Prayer
Let us do what the Bible tells us to do, not some made-up fallacy that almost seems like scripture.
Prayer: Lord, help us to remember the things you want us to remember, things for the heart and soul. Amen.