Church Etiquette 5

Our blog on church etiquette continues with the 5th on our list: Do Not Distract. If you read (remember) the blog entitled Do Not Disrupt, you might think that this rule and that one are the same (after all, they ARE very similar and do cover many of the same ‘areas’). However, the similarities are not reason enough to NOT cover this area again seeing as this is THE area where etiquette is most often breeched. The previous rule [Do Not Disrupt] dealt with <words, actions, movements> that interrupt, impede, or interfere with the flow of the service; i.e., things that divert the attention from what is suppose to be happening. Today’s rule deals with NOT derailing, detouring, or diverting attention from what is suppose to be the focus to things that are not suppose to be THE focus. Thus, the rule covers a border range of disruptions/distractions. The previous list is included of course (words, actions, movements), but one must add additional things like:

  • Attitudes – When one’s attitude averts the attention of those worshipping around them, that attitude is a distraction.
  • Looks – When someone looks at someone else with desire, distain, or disgust, that look is a distraction to the one receiving, or to others observing, “the look”. Another way ‘looks’ are distracting is when one is dressed inappropriately. The Bible warns against wearing clothing or jewelry that attracts too much (thus distracting) attention. The Biblical emphasis is on the adorning of the interior, with a warning re: the exterior.
  • Smells – Wearing overly strong or too much perfume/cologne is not only a distraction, but can also be the cause of someone avoiding (or of being ‘repulsed’ by) your presence. Some folks simply cannot stand strong smells. The other side of the scale is equally bad: improper or non-existence hygiene that results in strong, bad body odor is not only a distraction, it is also offensive.

So, whether it is attitudes, looks, or smells, WEAR IT WELL! Properly preparing for worship should include a balance between too much and not enough… so as not to distract from the worship experience. The consideration of and thoughtfulness for others is a characteristic of real Christianity.

Acquire Elevation while avoiding ‘extremes’!

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