This song was written by Robert Gatewood during the height of the country's worst housing crisis since the Great Depression.
A record number of families were losing their homes to foreclosure, and some even faced the unthinkable prospect of homelessness. Some of these families and individuals, ashamed and unaccustomed to their new economic condition, began to slowly withdraw into the shadows of society.
Ironically, there were others who were unaffected by the economic turmoil that was raging around them, including many devout church-goes. If you can imagine a split screen; on one side you have families being visited by the take-back man and whose car won't start; on the other side you have affluent church-goers whose biggest concern was, not how to reach those whose fate had taken an economic down turn, rather their concern was which hat to wear to church on Sunday, or which pair of shoes to select from their overflowing closets. The unintended consequences of these scenarios is that the affluent who flaunt their material possessions make it very difficult for the less-fortunate to sit next to them in church on Sunday morning, not out of antipathy, but out of shame.
The song is intended to inspire those who are facing economic upheaval, and to let them know that it does not matter whether you have a new house or whether you drive a fancy car. You can serve God just the same. The song reminds those experiencing hard times that even if you have a hole in your shoes, and even if your Sunday best is worn and used, that God won't judge you based on what you have. As long as you have love in your heart, you can still come to God.
The song is also a reminder to those in the church who have lost sight of one of the primary missions of the church, which is to be a missionary. There is nothing wrong with success, or looking nice on Sunday morning, but when familes in the church and the community are losing their homes, it can be quite uninviting when the leaders of the church use its money to buy new mansions and fancy cars. The song reminds us that the best way to get ready for God is not by spending all of our time trying on designer clothes; we can best get ready for God, by trying on the spirit of giving.
The song is not intended to condemn those who have been blessed with abundance; instead, the song encourages those who are blessed, to practice "modesty" and "compassion". And to those facing hard times, it is a reminder that God accepts us as we are, as long as we have love in our hearts.