I can’t stand wearing shoes. They are so constricting and hot! I am rarely able to find a pair of shoes that fit just right, are comfortable enough to want to wear for long periods of time, or attractive enough for me to wear with any outfit I choose.
I surprised myself last summer when I actually didn’t mind wearing flip-flops. Usually, I can’t stand to have anything between my toes. Ugh, how irritating! I guess the redeeming quality of them was the fact that I could get them in any color at Old Navy, and like socks, I could get them to match the outfit I was wearing at the time.
The other day I got to thinking about the purpose of shoes though, after someone read a very familiar passage in the Bible. Ephesians 6:10-18 instructs us to put on the armor of God, listing the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
Let’s back up there. The amplified Bible says (v.15) “And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.
So, what are shoes for, anyway? I’ve thought of a few benefits to wearing shoes:
1.) Firemen wear special boots when going into fires.
2.) Doctors, nurses, waiters/waitresses, flight attendants, and other such service professionals are on their feet all day and need orthopedic shoes to help keep them from creating back problems.
3.) Construction workers will wear steel-toe shoes to protect their feet from heavy objects potentially falling on them.
4.) Runners wear specific “running” shoes that will aid them in gaining the optimum traction.
5.) Bikers wear “biker” shoes, which help in gripping the pedal, I generally require my children to wear closed-toe shoes when biking in case they find the need to use their feet to stop suddenly.
6.) Rain boots, slickers, or overshoes are available to those walking in areas where their feet will get wet.
7.) Military personnel have their specific boot as well.
8.) The ballerina may have a shoe called a “point” for those times he/she is on his/her toes in the dance.
9.) Skiing requires boots that lock into the ski so that you don’t become separated on your trip to the bottom of the hill.
10.) Boots in winter keep your feet warm. Depending on your location, you may want boots prepared for deep (sub-zero) cold.
Wearing the proper shoes for the task at hand protects not only the feet, but the back as well. Interesting, eh? Shoes protect your feet from the scorching hot ground when the sun is high in the summer; they will keep your feet warm in winter, dry in rain; some shoes are for dress while others are for work, and yet another group comes in handy for casual living.
So, what’s up with shoes called “the gospel of peace”?
Have you ever had a stone in your shoe? You know the kind; that miniscule piece of granite that finds its way into the bottom of your shoe and drives you nuts until you pull the shoe off and get that offending thing out?
When we forget to tie on those shoes, we expose ourselves to the elements. Our feet become calloused, cut, burnt; a toe could be broken when jammed into that coffee table or the chair you forgot was there. Spiritually speaking, we open ourselves to the scorching heat of the enemy’s tactics. Peace begins to seep out of our heart while we feel as though that stone is imbedded permanently.
Now, we must be sure the shoes are a proper fit. Shoes that don’t fit well can cause blisters which usually are painful when trying to wear any shoe.
When putting on the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace, we must make certain these shoes are a good fit. NO SHORTCUTS. I believe the best way to ensure a proper fit is this:
Study the Word; hide it in your heart. The psalmist says, “Thy Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” Gospel means good news. The Word is the Gospel or good news. We ought to hide it in our hearts and trust it completely; just as the construction worker trusts those steel-toe shoes to protect his feet, or the parent trusts the winter boots to protect their child’s feet from frostbite.
Therefore, I encourage you my friends: Put your shoes on and keep them on.