13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
-In scripture, a person’s repentant heart is often coupled with a rending of their garment. Tearing a garment is an expression of grief and can be used at the loss of a loved one or, as stated, a guilty conscience. The danger with any custom is that we tend to place too much emphasis on the custom and not enough on the thought behind it. We attend church but are mentally checked out the whole time, we pray but our words become empty repetitions; basically we go through the motions. God recognizes this and asks us to turn to Him not just on the outside, but on the inside. If you feel compelled to complete a custom, feel free to complete it unto the Lord (Romans 14:6), but don’t forget that God is really interested in what’s happening in your heart.