So we were loading the trunk and as she passed, a stranger said to me, “That’s a lovely suit. You’ve been to church, haven’t you? I apologize for being nosy, but would you mind telling me where you attend?”
Would I mind?! Of course I spent the next five or ten minutes telling her where I attend, when we meet, who we are, and what we do. Then I handed her a blog card and pointed out my contact information in case she had more questions. “Please email me or just call. I can give you more detailed directions,” I finished with.
I know a lot of people who no longer “dress up” for church. They certainly have that right. But I know a lot of others who go even further—who tell those of us who grew up doing it that we are wrong, that we are trying to be Christians on the outside instead of the inside. I have yet to figure out why wearing my good suit on Sunday makes me a hypocrite any more than someone who thinks sitting on the pew in jeans on Sunday then dressing up for the boss all week makes him a Christian.
In fact, tell me this. If you were this woman and you were searching, who would you ask on a Sunday about noon at the grocery store—the guy in shorts, tee shirt and flip-flops or the man with a tie on? The lady with a dress on or the one with cut-offs and an oversized shirt hanging over her waistline? Maybe there is something to be said after all for making it obvious on a Sunday that you have been to church.
But then we have this point—it isn’t what you wear on Sunday that makes the Christian; it’s what you wear every day.
Put on therefore, as God's elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man have a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do you: and above all these things [put on] love, which is the bond of perfectness, Col 3:12-14.
My neighbors need to see these spiritual clothes every day. There can be no “dressing down” spiritually after you have “put on Christ” in baptism, Gal 3:27. The people I work with, the people I go to school with, the people I come into contact with, especially on a regular basis, should know by my speech and my actions that “I went to church on Sunday.” God won’t accept a “casual Friday” set of spiritual clothes any day of the week.
I’ve had a great many things make people ask me questions—maybe that’s a good subject for another day, but it all boils down to this—I have to look different. Whether it’s how I act, how I speak, how I run my family, or any number of ways, it needs to be obvious. Let’s stop making judgments about one another’s literal clothes, and just go out there and show people who we are with the spiritual wardrobe of a child of God.
The night is far spent, and the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk becomingly, as in the day; not in reveling and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof] Romans 13:12-14.