Where is your heart?

 

Have you ever walked into a church and felt unwelcomed? Maybe it was because you didn’t know their rituals or you looked different than everyone else? Or maybe someone even asked you to leave if you didn’t change something? All of these things happen all the time and it’s really saddening. I’ve heard the words “of the Devil” so much lately that it got me thinking… what’s of the Devil?

Something that I have had to constantly remind myself and other people is that the Devil is not a creator, he was created by God. God is the creator in our story. That means that everything in this world, whether you think it is good or bad, is from God. That doesn’t mean humans haven’t altered some things here on earth because we have. We have altered the meaning of things such as sex, marriage, and worship.

We have been told time and time again to take our hat off in church or dress a certain way to please God or even how many times we need to go to church a year to keep a clear conscience because if we don’t it’s a sin. Most of these “rules” come from traditions that some people can’t let go of. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell me to take my hat off to worship God.

The Bible does say, “God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24 NIV) The Bible also says, “…Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” (Matthew 4:10 NIV)

God doesn’t care what you’re wearing. It doesn’t matter to Him if you have long or short hair.

He wants your heart.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NIV)

We aren’t sinning when we do something that’s untraditional. We are sinning when we aren’t on God’s path. Sinning is something we all do. Sometimes we get discouraged by our sin. As if though we sin once and we can’t recover.

The word sin translated from Hebrew means, “missing the mark.”

We need to realize that it is easier to get back on track and to make our hearts pure.

“He did not discriminate between us and them, for He purified their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:9 NIV)

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6 thoughts on “Where is your heart?

  1. True. Worship isn’t how you look or what you wear. I would like to add, however, that what we wear can distract and detract. If a woman walks in dressed in a halter top, mini skirt and thigh-high boots, I guarantee it’s going to distract more than a few people from worship. A man who stands up to lead a prayer wearing a Marilyn Manson shirt might cause a few people to wonder why he listens to such music instead of listening to the words of his prayer. What we wear is not important in the basic sense, but I do think that we ought to dress so as not to distract people from worship. the idea is to extend love to others.

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    1. I agree but this is all with discernment in mind. Not extremes. Even if someone walked into a church like that they deserve love. Nothing less. Yes it can be distracting but again, if your heart is actually in what you doing, you should be able to get over it.

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  2. Romans 14:13
    “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”
    ‭‭
    No matter the dress attire, the sexual orientation or social background. Everyone needs love and needs to feel loved. But there is responsibility on both sides to honor and respect the other. I have tattoos all over my forearms. If I lead worship somewhere and they ask me to cover my arms I will do so. Because I will honor the people who may stumble into dishonor about me if they are offended by tattoos. If I choose to not listen and show my tattoos and someone gets offended am I the one to blame for allowing them to get offended? Or are they the ones who have a bigger issue than I do? I’d say in that situation that both people are sinning.

    When I enter a church there is a culture that is established there and to break to normality in these environments does not come easy and most likely will not happen.
    No where in the bible does it say to take
    off your hat. But there were certain “rules” set in place of what to do when entering the tabernacle. It’s a cultural thing and it’s an honorable thing.
    Does God care about you wearing your hat while praying? Maybe he does because it could be a prideful issue because you won’t take it off because you want to go against the flow.

    “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭13:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    Maybe someone from stage is wearing a Marilyn Manson shirt. Love does not say “accept that shirt and person no matter what” love says “love the person. feel whatever you want about their choices” love does not mean accepting a bad behavior or decision of any kind. I don’t have to show I love by accepting the thing they are doing either. For an older generation a lot of them(and a lot of us now even) were taught that being loving is point out a wrong. So to break
    Cultural norms just doesn’t seem like the thing to do. Seems rebellious. But get your point. Love everyone no matter what.:)

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    1. I agree that we have to honor the traditions that have been set up but I must say the rules of the tabernacle were given by God and things you would do in certain denominational churches traditionally are not. I emphasize tradition. Also, when you said you sinned with them because you have tattoos and they didn’t like that, would it also be sinning if they saw you on the street and passed by you and gave you judgement? Maybe on their part by not on yours. My post is all about knowing where your own heart is at. As well as not being discouraged when you don’t follow a specific churches traditions. I understand that if you are going into this place everyone should honor them and their ways. But if they point it out or ask you to change that you not to be discouraged by it. Because I believe that it isn’t sinning. If they have a problem with something you’re wearing or have permanently on your body then I think their hearts might need some change and that doesn’t mean not to cover it up or take off your hat we should respect that and do so. Secondly, if you’re doing something for the church whether it be worship leading, pastoring, reading scripture, etc. then of course you should follow their traditions and you should know what they are because you’re the one that either accepted that position are asked to be there. But again it’s all about where your heart is. “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

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      1. Thanks for writing this. I’ve also been tired of hearing people say we need to “dress up for Jesus” when in fact He was homeless during His ministry and wasn’t wearing a five piece suit to preach His sermon on the mount. I love you focus. Thank you for reminding us that God looks at the heart of all things. I teach at my church (both youth and in the main service at times) and I had a young man come to church who was very rough around the edges. He had piercings in several places and used very colorful curse words at times. Some people might have run him off or jumped all over his case but the fact was, he was coming to church because he knew he needed a change in life. He came as he was just as Jesus calls us. Christ and His Holy Spirit change people not us. It is beyond heart breaking when anyone runs someone out of a church because of appearance when all of us need to be among other believers being encouraged and strengthened with truth and love. I applaud your post and hope it touches the hearts of your readers.

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