Do dresses make you holy???  After I was declared to have the Holy Ghost, I did not receive any inspiration from the Holy Ghost to begin wearing dresses.  In fact, being a teenager when I arrived at a United Pentecostal church, my wardrobe consisted mainly of jeans, shorts, and mini dresses.  It was the spring time of the year when I began going to this church and the following summer, I went on vacation with my family wearing pants, makeup, and bikinis.  Funny thing is I don’t remember having any feelings that this was wrong or that I was betraying the Lord in any way.

My main memory of beginning to wear only dresses came from my concern that I could possibly be seen by someone from my church with the wrong clothes on.  I also remember my mom, who was not a fan of my new church experience, questioning me “so you’re not going to wear all those clothes anymore?”  This new way of dressing had to become my passion because I needed a whole new wardrobe!  And hey, dresses were going to make me holy, right?

At first, I was at the mercy of one of the seamstresses in the church who had a penchant for heavy double knits.  I considered myself to be somewhat of a fashionista so before long I purchased a sewing machine so I could make my own dresses.  This was the early ‘70’s when the only dresses you could buy were short and unacceptable for making me holy.  Thankfully, a few years later hem lines dropped and I could buy some of my clothes.  Until then, you find me spending hours and hours making new dresses.  Dresses are serious business in my UPC church!  You must wear your newest and finest for the big Sunday night competition.

All those hours I spent sewing dresses never ever made me holy as the UPC claimed.  They did make me different which in UPC world is considered a good thing.  They love nothing better than being noticed for their different way of dressing.  Once the pastor called me to come forward before the congregation as an example of what he expected the women to dress like.  Even then, I knew, as far as my standing with the Lord, dresses meant nothing.

For about seventeen years, I wore only dresses but when I realized I could tell a lie easier than I could put on a pair of pants, something was wrong.  There was no holiness in my clothes or any inside of me.  I was an empty shell practicing a religion of works similar to those who are compelled to wear a head scarf or holy underwear.  None of these things are what God is looking at!  He is looking inside of your heart and your motives for doing what you do.  All of these outward things people do to make themselves acceptable to God have no value.  Man-made commandments and doctrines are only self-imposed religion and will in no way make you holy.  In reality, they only serve to make you proud of yourself, your effort, and your appearance.  True holiness described in Ephesians 4:24-32 comes from a heart, mind, and will that is controlled by the Holy Spirit living within.

Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—“Do not touch, do not taste, and do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using— according to the commandments and doctrines of men?  These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.  Colossians 2:20-23 NKJV