Looking good.

It’s not just anyone I’m willing to share this picture with. This is my look when I hop out of bed in the morning. It truly is a face only a mother could love! (And my hubby of 43 years, too.)

Of course, it’s a face my Lord loves, too. And for that I’m very thankful.

Always look your best.

Growing up, the importance of always looking your best was often emphasized. Then there was every mother’s advice to always wear clean underwear. (I don’t think I ever understood that one.)

And years ago, there was also quite an emphasis on looking your best for God which I think meant you should dress in your best clothes to go to church. And that one always made me wonder…why?

Look out, Mimi’s on her high horse with her opinion.

Now I don’t always look as unkempt in the above picture but if my husband or mother can love me looking like that, I certainly think God can, too. Dressing up, wearing gloves or a hat, putting on a suit and wearing shined-up shoes is all about the outer person. It says nothing of who that person really is.

How often have we seen people looking their best in church and drawn assumptions that they had it all together, were good to their families, etc. And on the other hand, how often have we jumped to negative conclusions about the life of a person in shabby or wrinkled clothes?

Years ago, before casual church services became popular, my mother-in-law was so full of joy to learn about a blue jeans church where everyone came dressed in jeans. She remarked that if she went there she would wear them, too. I agreed with her and at that time sure wished we had one of those blue jean churches near us.

Come as you are.

But that’s much more the norm now. Ever since moving to Florida we’ve found most churches are on the casual side. Come as you are seems to be the theme. And we fit right in. Jeans, shorts, comfy clothes, or even dressed up, the emphasis now seems to be on getting people to church and allowing God to do the cleaning up, rather than putting a requirement on people to look their best and be cleaned up before they can be acceptable to God.

Whether or not the church service is contemporary, traditional, or even very liturgical, opening the doors wide without regard to appearance is welcoming. And I think it’s a good change we’ve seen over the last 20 years. How much better to have churches full of people regardless of their appearance or circumstances, rather than to possibly create atmospheres of judgment and exclusions.

Just as I am

One of the verses in Charlotte Elliott’s beautiful hymn “Just as I am, Without One Please” really sums this up beautifully:

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

Because They promise I believe,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

 

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