As we grow older we begin to realize how many things were instilled in us that taught us how to judge more than it taught us how to love. I believe in my heart that those that taught us how to judge believed they were doing a good thing. They believed they were passing down knowledge and not judgment. What they didn't understand is that instead of setting us up for progression they were keeping us stuck in a cycle that needed to be broken.
One of the things I think about when I think about how I was taught to judge others, is wearing pants. I was raised Pentecostal and I had always been taught that we needed to look different than the world. I was told that as a Christian woman, I was required to wear long skirts, panty hose and look homely and unattractive. I couldn’t wear anything that would make a man stop and take a second look but yet at some point I needed to get married. Of course now, when I look back, it all feels so ridiculous but at that time in my life, I relied heavily on what the older saints taught.
I was given references in the Bible that said women wore a certain type of clothes and men wore a certain type of clothes. But, if you study the Word for yourself, you will begin to realize that there were men that wore skirts in biblical times. What I didn’t know at the time was that, even though it was written in the Bible, it was all based on the time in which the Bible was written. I understand the purpose of why it needed to be mentioned in the Bible (this is another conversation) but I also understand that as time evolves and generations pass, we must be able to apply what has been said appropriately to our lives.
Wearing pants will not send anyone to hell, but growing up, I believed that is exactly where I would end up if I did wear them. We didn’t serve the Lord because we had a relationship with him, we served him out of fear. As I got older, there was so much I had to unlearn. Even to this day, I am having to unlearn some things that were more about religion than it was about relationship.
I do thank God for the things I learned as a child and young adult because they taught me discipline. It took me years to feel comfortable walking into a church with pants, even if we were only there to clean the building. Although presently, I may be that person that will not minister the Word of God in a pulpit with pants, it does not give me the right to judge someone else that feels comfortable ministering in pants.
The main point about pants and the moderation of our attire was about distractions. But hey, anything can be a distraction if we are not careful. I remember finding myself in a church service where I was looking at the robe the Woman of God was preaching in. At the end of that service, I could not tell you anything about the sermon. That robe was so sharp, it had me completely mesmerized. I remember that robe to this day. It had a gold overlay between the pleats. It flared out in the right places every time the Woman of God turned. That robe had all the bells and whistles and the shoes matched perfectly. I took pictures because one day, I thought, I’m going to have a robe just like that!
I said all of that to say, distractions come in many forms but we also have to take accountability for our own actions. We must recognize when we have been distracted and correct it. We need to ask ourselves what purpose am I getting out of this distraction? Do I want to leave with some knowledge that's going to give me power to fight the enemy I'm going to meet tomorrow or do I want to leave talking about that dope robe the woman preached in? Hello somebody!
What do you need to unlearn today? Please share your insights in the comments. Let’s talk about it.