Many churchgoers seem content to wear whatever they feel like. At times, there isn’t much distinction between church clothes and casual attire. But clothing speaks volumes in every occasion.
First Samuel 16:7 says, “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” God is not concerned with superficial aspects, such as what clothes we wear to church on Sunday, but what we wear may say more about the heart than we like to think.
Consider a wedding. Out of respect for the bride and groom, you dress up for the occasion (unless otherwise noted). By doing so, you are expressing to the couple that you find their marriage a significant event — one worthy of attire other than your comfy sweatpants and hoodie.
Not all occasions require you to dress up to the nines. But God (and the community of your church) deserve respect beyond typical lounge attire. What you wear can say volumes about your attitude. And others read into this.
While a formal gown or tuxedo in church may be interpreted as extravagant, cutoff shorts could be read as disrespectful. There is a time and place for all things, and in that, clothing is included. It is important to know what is respectful in every occasion.
What others see expressed on the outside might also be a reflection of our internal state. Flippancy in attitude about the meaning of church might translate via wardrobe. Church is not meant to be a flippant affair. It is a time when the body of Christ can come together and join minds, hands and voices to worship Him.
Although what is considered respectful may not be what makes us feel the most comfortable, it is important to realize that what we wear to church may not be an entirely personal affair. It can be an indicator as to where our hearts stand in relation to our reverence for the Lord and our time spent in His house each week.
Jean Donaldson is a junior biology major. This column reflects the views of the writer only.