Can you impress God by dressing for success at church? In other words, does dressing nice make any difference to God?

I think this is the wrong question to ask. The question should be: “what does God think about dressing casual in church?”

Ouch. That hurts.

When you ask that question, it is no longer about “me,” and what I think should be permissible, or about what makes others around us more comfortable. Now it is about God’s desires.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world… Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

What is the pattern of this world? The first thing that pops into my mind is the title of the book “Slouching Towards Gomorrah” by Robert Bork. Although I’ve never read the book, the title really spells out what is going on in the world, and in Christianity too. We are slouching.

Does God notice? That is the question nobody is asking.

Yes, he does. Throughout the bible, God tells us what makes him mad. But I sense that people think that since Jesus came and changed the way we get into heaven, that God has also changed his mind about what makes him angry.

“Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the LORD Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.” Malachi 1:14

I think that when we go to church wearing the jersey of our favorite sports team, we are not telling God that he’s number one in our life. We are giving God blemished goods, because we do have it in our power to make ourselves appear to him like he is the “number one” in our lives.

What is the punishment for putting God number two? Look at that verse in Malachi again.

He says “cursed!”

Are we as Christians being cursed? If I look at the evidence around me in my own town, I think we are. Our churches are dying.

But you’re thinking a really good question right now. “Is this the real reason the churches are withering?”

I can’t say for sure. But when I look at the church as if it were a business, I have to ask myself “what would a customer want from this place?” Really. If you were a non-Christian, and you looked at any neighborhood church, what would draw you in?

Then, when I look at it from a mindset of a non-believer, what I see is that the people inside are pretty much just like me. They don’t appear to be better off. They don’t seem to think their god is important. They have similar problems to me – they’re broke, and they have family issues. And they don’t seem to be able to solve their problems with their religion. This church is seems to be saying: “Come as you are, and leave as you came.”

I can just hear them saying in a condescending tone: “Yea… I want to be a member of that group…”

And then they compare that to a night-club. Inside the night club, everyone dresses nice. They appear rich. They are happy.

“I want to be like these people,” they say to themselves. Be honest. Deep down, you probably feel the same way yourself.

The Christian church has a major marketing problem on its hands. People on the outside aren’t being drawn in, because the “inside” looks exactly the same as it is on the outside. The only difference is that people on the inside have a bit more of “peace” with that whole dying thing. But other than that, that religious stuff doesn’t sound so appealing, does it.

I think this marketing problem can be mostly eliminated if the people inside the church actually believed that God wants them to be wealthy.

Does God Buy Us Off In Order To Get Obedience?

You’re probably thinking, “That doesn’t sound so spiritual. So what you’re saying is that God is willing to buy us off with the promise of being wealthy if we just come to church and do what he says?”

Yes. That is exactly what I’m saying. That is what God says. Look in the bible. There are promises galore about wealth. But they are conditional. You have to be obedient to God’s commands, and it is your choice.

But what does this have to do about dressing for success at church? How does it help you to make money?

It comes down to “favor,” which is God’s divine intervention in your life. It may not be as quick as a miracle, but it can be just as powerful.

Dressing for success opens doors for you. People that would not give you the time of day, are all of a sudden offering you opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise get. There is study after study of this phenomena that has been performed. The nicely dressed people are always treated better. Is that fair? Probably not. But it is a proven. I think it is God’s favor in action.

When those favorable opportunites come your way, that is your express ticket to greater wealth. Grab them.

However, people take away opportunities for themselves when they dress down and casual. Other people don’t see them as serious. I don’t think God sees you as serious.

In the parable of the wedding banquet found in the beginning versus of Matthew 22, we see that God (the king) does notice what you wear:

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless.

“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 22:11-13 (NIV)

People that dress down are always looked at as rebels by people in authority. And rebels are always beaten down. In the end, it only comes down to how bad the beating is going to be. Usually dressing down isn’t so bad as this verse in the bible. But you throw away the option of going down the path of favor that leads to eating at the table with the king.

You are a child of the King – act like it! I see dressing for success as a biblical way to make money, God’s way.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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  • http://www.AprilBraswell.com Dating After 40 Expert

    Hi Tim,

    Indeed, I think of the Widow’s mite. Making an effort to give God our best, whatever that is, is what we should aim for. Clean up and spiff up. Often it is the quite poor who will make sure they have a Sunday Suit or Sunday Dress for wearing to church. Surely we who “have” more should learn from them and realize we need to do so as well.

    Blue jeans are for church projects like a Habitat for Humanity team project, not for Sunday services. Unless that is truly ALL you have. Then just wash up well! :-)

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Dating After 40 Expert