Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What (Not) To Wear

Last weekend, Mr. Theophilus surprised me with a quick trip to see Clifton Kelly from "What Not to Wear." While I didn't win a shopping spree, I did get some advice about what to wear as an interviewer.

Then, tonight at a gathering of parents at church, the topic of appropriate clothing for church came up. The two events has thoughts about what God thinks about what we wear to church. Should we dress up, or is ok to be more casual?

I haven't had enough sleep, so I can't formulate my thoughts into words, but here are the relevant passages I found:

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Matthew 6:28: "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

Romans 13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:27
for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

1 Timothy 2:9-10 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

James 2:2-4 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

1 Peter 3:3-4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, 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.

1 Peter 5:5 All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."


  1. Solid points. Not always, but often, "dressing up" for church is just the outward manifestation of the mask people put on to pretend they're perfect.

  2. To be modest is to be humble, and being humble invites the Spirit to be with us.
    Of course, modesty is not new. It was taught to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. “Unto Adam … and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21;“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
    “… The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16–17).
    Imagine that you are watching a play. An actor comes on stage dressed as a clown but starts playing the serious part of the lead. You might react by thinking that this is inappropriate—there must be some mistake in the costuming or casting.
    Now think of how inappropriate it is to go out into the world or come to church dressed in clothes that do not represent who you really are in spirit. Our outward appearance and behavior give a message. What message are we sending? Does it reflect that we are children of God? When we go to church it is important that we dress to demonstrate that we are prepared to worship and to indicate that we are mentally and spiritually ready to invite the Spirit to be with us always. Just an idea for your debate.

  3. Thanks for your comments. Nanci, I think the Adam and Eve verse has more to do with covering their sin--they weren't aware of their nakedness until they sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, so I don't know that covering them was a sign of modesty. But I totally agree with being the temple--is our dress drawing us closer to God or putting a barrier up? Are we more concerned with how we look on the outside than how we look on the inside? Are we drawing people closer to God or pushing them further way?

  4. Modesty is the way of the great man.

  5. Modesty is the way of the great man.