1 Timothy 6:8– “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”
Paul is addressing an attitude that should accentuate every believer. We should be content with the Lord’s provision. He explains to Timothy that if a man has food for his belly and clothes for his back he should be content. This is a tremendous truth. It is important for Christians to be content, but for the purpose of our study I want to pull the word raiment out from this phrase. For the man of God it’s not just being content with the clothes you posses, but when we think of raiment in respect to man of God it is possessing and putting on the right kind of clothes that is paramount. Like the priests of the Old Testament, the preachers of today should be distinguished in their duds!
Exodus 28:2– “And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty”
I’ll never forget during my time in college I enrolled in a course covering the topic of classroom management for future teachers. The professor made a statement that has stuck in my heart from then until now. He stated, “Apparel can either exude authority or it will exclude authority. It will either generate respect or it will cause you to give up respect.” How true that statement is! I cannot count the number of times I have been to revival meetings, conferences, or fellowship meetings and been introduced to young preachers who were wearing clothes that belonged in a school desk, not behind the sacred desk. When an athlete takes the field, they adorn a uniform. When a surgeon goes to court, they dress accordingly. When a surgeon goes to operate, they put on the appropriate attire! No one ever asks a football player, “What’s with the helmet?” No one ever petitions a surgeon, “What’s with the scrubs?”, and so it should be with the man of God! No one should have to guess who the preacher for the services is when you step into the sanctuary! If you are to error, lean to the side of over-dressing and never under-dressing. I am not advocating that the young preacher go out and purchase clothes that his money can’t buy! You don’t have to buy the best to look your best. Just present yourself in a way that does justice to your calling. Nothing about the work of the Lord should ever be “coach,” but rather always “first class”; especially the appearance of the man of God.
In a day where dressing down is on the ups and casual clothing has moved from the mall into the ministry, the starting preacher, the Timothy must make it a pointed practice to present themselves as a man of God! While others in your age bracket and at your experience level are sporting open collars, Bermuda shorts, and catchy Christian wristbands, it is imperative that you implement sharp, straight-laced sophisticated attire in your ministry. Look like a preacher not a member of the youth group or campus crusade! Save your sweater for the slopes, your polo for the putting green, your shorts for sleeping, and forgot the flip flops!
Dr. Tom Malone Sr. once said, “The preacher should not look like the advance agent for the rag man!” and to the that we say “Amen.” Button your suit jacket, knot your tie, shine your shoes, iron your slacks, shave your face, comb your short hair, and present your self as you are in truth, a message bearer on business for the Master! Be sharp!
SHARP ATTIRE is an excerpt from the book Tackling the Troubles that Target Timothy’s.
Evangelist| Dr. Justin Cooper
Christian Growth Magazine
Clays Mill Baptist Church| (859)-277-6811