Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What are *YOU* wearing?

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I don't know about you, but when I take a mini road trip by car I like to dress as comfortable as possible. Scratch that, whenever I travel by boat, plane, or car, I like to dress comfortably. A few weekends ago, my husband and I decided to visit my abuela [grandmother] in South Jersey. The plan was to leave early Saturday morning so that we could go straight to church [we attend church on Saturdays instead of Sunday, to learn more click here] for the 11:00 AM service. As we were arriving to my abuela's town, my husband suggested we change in the church's restroom, but I quickly shot it down because I know people would look at us so strangely without knowing the context of why we were in sweat pants. So, we decided to change in the car in a lonely parking lot couple blocks down from the church. As we were changing cautiously, my husband told me about a time he and his guy friends went up to NYC for the weekend and how they drove straight from Maryland to a church in North Jersey for church service and that all of them went inside the church looking like "street people" with their garment bags on their arms and changed in their restrooms. My husband said the looks they received were highly uncomfortable and awkward. Later when the guys had changed into their sharp church clothes, the church people's reactions changed. So obviously, I was really happy we did not decide to walk into the church with our sweat pants and flip flops [to then change]. 

That is when it hit me, we, Christians, tend to be like that many times. We expect new people to walk into our churches with "fancy clothes"aka (also known as) no sin, problems, addictions, etc. We expect them to be just like us, whatever that means since we are all sinners. If someone walks into the church and is drunk and a chronic alcoholic, what would we do? Would we shun them and snicker about them as we stare from across the room? Or would we embrace them and point them to the right direction [rehab or church based addiction program]? If someone walks into the church looking like they just finished their "night shift" in the red light district, what would we do? Would we pull out a long, flowy dress from the Dorcas closet and give it the girl who just walked in and tell her she cannot enter unless she puts the dress on? Or would we welcome her and make her feel truly loved [something she probably doesn't feel on a regular basis]? I can go on and on and on with different examples, but will stop right there. 

My point is that we all do not wear the "same clothes" (we sin differently) and all of us may not be experienced with handling different types of sins. This is where education and studying up comes into the play. Let's get educated to know what exactly we are dealing with instead of judging, hating, and ignoring others because we do not know how to handle it. The next time someone walks into your church wearing "different clothes," welcome them like Christ would and get to know what they are about. Christ accepts us as we are with "dirty rags" AND is ready to give us a clean garment [Galatians 3:27]; are we better than Him that we cannot do the same? Think about that...I dare you.

Be blessed--

nissy

5 comments:

  1. wow... so very true! reminds me of one of the songs from casting crowns, where he talks about how we are 'looking down at people from our church steeple.' Praise be to God because he accepts us just as we are... otherwise none of us would be welcome in church! because we sometimes 'wear the right clothes,' but under our fancy clothes, we're hiding the 'dirty garments' of our sin. Praise God that HE is the only one that can give us true clean garments to wear... :)

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    1. Ooo yeah--I like that song too! Good stuff! Amen @ "praise be to God because He accepts us just as we are..." Absolutely. I feel so filthy at times, but am so thankful that God loves me regardless of my stink.

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  2. Great post, Anissa!

    Jesus says "come as you are" to Him not "wear Prada to enter".

    Someone once said trying to be sinless and perfect before going to church is like trying to be clean before taking a shower.

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  3. Alexis--Thank you!
    Ooooo, I LOVE that quoteeee! Did you create that quote (about Prada)?
    Amen, I agree!

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