One Sunday morning an old cowboy entered a church just before services were to begin. Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were very worn and ragged. In his hand he carried a worn out old hat and an equally worn out Bible.
The church he entered was in a very upscale and exclusive part of the city. It was the largest and most beautiful church the old cowboy had ever seen. The people of the congregation were all dressed with expensive clothes and accessories.
As the cowboy took a seat, the others moved away from him. No one greeted, spoke to, or welcomed him. They were all appalled at his appearance and did not attempt to hide it.
As the old cowboy was leaving the church, the preacher approached him and asked the cowboy to do him a favor. “Before you come back in here again, have a talk with God and ask him what he thinks would be appropriate attire for worship.” The old cowboy assured the preacher he would.
The next Sunday, he showed back up for the services wearing the same ragged jeans, shirt, boots, and hat. Once again he was completely shunned and ignored. The preacher approached the man and said, “I thought I asked you to speak to God before you came back to our church.”
“I did,” replied the old cowboy.
“If you spoke to God, what did he tell you the proper attire should be for worshiping in here?” asked the preacher.
“Well, sir, God told me that He didn’t have a clue what I should wear. He said He’d never been in here before.”
It is clear that judging someone by what they wear is wrong. There could be a hundred reasons why someone dresses the way they do. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that it what people wear doesn’t matter. The point is, we can’t judge someone by what they wear, at least not if it’s simply a matter of “style” or “quality”.
True, we don’t want to be stiff-necked, but is going to church the same thing as going to the beach? In other words, shouldn’t I show due regard to where I am going and dress accordingly? Can we take a too casual approach to our worship of God? If so, why?
What do you think?