My husband and I were heading out for the Saturday service at our church. I had on longer dress shorts, and he said, “You’re wearing shorts to church???” “Yes, I am,” I replied without hesitating, “is there something wrong with it?” He said that he was raised dressing up for church, and when we go to church, we should wear our best.
I, too, was raised “looking” my best when at church. But that was the problem, I may have “looked” my best, but I was a mess on the inside. Back then, church was a facade. It was a thing I did to submit to my parents and play the good Christian girl.
Now, things are totally different. What changed? Everything, with me AND the church.
In 2007, I re-dedicated my life to Jesus Christ. For the first time, I understood what it meant to have a real relationship with my Lord and Savior. No longer was I calling on Jesus only when I needed something (kind of like ringing a bell in heaven and hoping to get a wish granted). Rather, I was passionately pursuing Christ, and that meant getting to know Him through the Bible and trying to obey His commands. While I knew “obedience” wasn’t what would get me to heaven (believing in Christ does that according to John 3:16), I desired to follow Christ, and that shifted everything for me.
You see, for years I wore a mask…pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I thought if only I tried harder, did everything right, etc. that Christ would love me. I failed miserably, and that made me believe that I was too much of a mess to be loved and accepted so I ran further away.
The fact is that while we were sinners (aka a mess), God demonstrated His love for us by sending His son to die on the cross. (Romans 5:8) Friends, we are accepted JUST AS WE ARE, faults and all.
Once I understood this, I wanted a church where I could be myself, a church that loved like Jesus did - faults and all, and a church that was more concerned with who I was as a person than how I looked in the congregation.
Please do not mistaken this for a church that lets me do whatever I want because I’m “forgiven.” No, God-centered churches are going to love me enough to speak truth in love when I miss the mark. Is it painful and confronting? Yes, at times. Is it what I need? Absolutely.
I don’t know where you are with “the church,” but I highly encourage you to consider a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. For me, it’s changed everything, and yes, sometimes I wear shorts to church.