“A son honors his father and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the LORD of hosts to you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?” – Malachi 1:6
Where is honor and reverence? Better still, do we know what honor and reverence is? In our times, there has indeed arisen a generation who do not the God of Heaven for all His worth, nor the things which He can do or which He has done! A generation of wise-fools, devoid of understanding and perspective! Clothed yet naked, seen yet lost, witty yet dumb, alive yet dead within! This generation has sought their way, which is seemingly right, and hence speeding at full throttle to their grave end.
In a time when salvation is cool and church is simply awesome, there is a need to click again the refresh button of our Spirits and find afresh who GOD IS and who He is not; how we can approach Him and how are we not to approach Him! In the scripture above, God is not pleased because people were being casual in worship. They were not giving their offerings to him in honor and reverence instead they felt it was a burden. Despite them willingly sinning in this way they were surprised that God was disappointed. They said “In what way have we despised your name?”
The people in Malachi’s days were offering lame and blind animals as offerings to the Lord (Malachi 1:7-8). They were to give their best offerings to the Lord, but yet they were giving him the things in which they didn’t want. Malachi says that even their governor would not want such offerings and they would be embarrassed to give him such offerings, yet they were giving it to the Lord! Despite this they were saying “In what ways have we despised Your name?”
We like Malachi’s audience can show a lack of reverence and honor to the Lord by giving him fake offerings of worship. We then say like the Israelites “In what way have we despised Your name?” Well, walk with me as I answer this question!
Swag or Sanctity
What about the way that you dress? Does it show respect and honor to the Lord on not only Sundays but every day of the week? Once in after teenagers’ camp a girl confessed to me that there are some clothes youth buy and hide from their parents because they know those clothes will be burnt! This is living a lie and not showing respect and honor to the Lord. We wear the clothes in front of God who is everywhere even though we think he doesn’t notice, but yet we would never wear those clothes in front of our parents. It is the same as offering lame and blind offerings in worship, but yet those same offerings would be shameful to give the governor.
An ambassador of Christ is what the Bible calls you. That means you represent Christ no matter where you are. Hence my swag should never overshadow my sanctity. If it does then swag is my object of honor and not the sanctity of the sanctifier- Christ! This being the case, it is improper to expose my body’s sensuality (which is reserved for the married in their closet) before men all in the name of fashion and keeping up with the swag! It is not glorifying to offer my body parts as instruments of sin in whatever way just so that I can feel and look cool. God desire you to honor and reverence in the way that you wear your swag.
Consider the words of 1Timothy 2:8-10 which says “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety (modest) and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.”
Men are commanded to lift up holy hands in prayer, women are called to not wear clothes which are seductive and/or draw attention to how rich they might be. This is the true doctrine that Paul is calling for in the book of 1st Timothy. In other words, Fashion MUST SUBMIT to the lordship of Christ and not your personal taste. Swag should point to sanctity. Not the other way around.
So how are you showing honor and reverence for the Lord by your offerings of clothing? What about your music, your friends, your behavior? Consider your ways and your offerings of daily worship to the Lord.