"I write only because there is a voice within me that will not be still." Sylvia Plath

“New Shoes”

Today my girls went on a “shoe date” with Dad. They needed new shoes so Dad took them to Payless and when they returned they came bursting into the house, “Look! Look!” Then, for the next half hour we must all, “ooh!” and “aah!” over the new shoes. Both girls wanted the tags taken off and had to change their socks and their clothes a little so that their outfits matched their new shoes perfectly. And, funny how putting something on their feet can travel all the way up to their tops and make their faces glow!

It got me thinking…

When we become Christians, we begin to be transformed into the “image of Christ”. Christ is the most beautiful thing in the universe…and so the more we are like Him, the more our insides are “beautiful”. And, really, every time we “get new shoes” spiritually, we should be the same way!

I kinda’ think that each time I run over to the computer and start typing here that it’s like that. I’m saying to all of you, “Look! Look at my new shoes! What do you think?”

Of course it makes me wonder…What if we were as discerning about our new “spiritual shoes” as we are about physical ones?

What if we made sure that our “spiritual shoes” matched our “outfits”? Would people accuse the church of being full of “hypocrites”?

What if we replaced old worn-out “spiritual shoes”? Would the church be more in tune with today’s people? Would we be able to reach more people because we’d be able to relate to them?

What if we were as excited about looking for new “spiritual shoes” as we are about getting new physical shoes? Would we spend 20 years sitting in pews every week? In the same church every week? Would we have “church doctrines” (stuff people think about the Bible) which generation after generation remain unchanged?

Does the world see your “spiritual shoes” and say, “Wow! Where’d you get those?” or do they either find your shoes offensive, or not even notice them at all?

Do your “spiritual shoes” stink? Do they offend people? Some Christians think that when they offend people that means they’re doing something good, but, that’s not always the case. I’d say that that’s mostly not the case…

Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
2 Tim. 3:12

Living godly in Christ Jesus would make our shoes beautiful. It makes everything about us beautiful. The more we are living godly in Christ Jesus the more we’ll look like Him and the only people who found Him “offensive” were the religious people…

As we become more like Christ, the most beautiful being in the universe, everything about us will be more and more beautiful…and if our “spiritual shoes” offend someone it will not be because they “stink” or are “ugly” but because they are “so beautiful”…

But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.
Romans 11:13-15

If you think about what makes people “jealous”…stinky, worn out, out-dated, mismatched shoes do not “move to jealousy our fellow countrymen and save them…”

One of the most persecuted groups in the world is actually “the rich”. And, it’s pure jealousy whether folks wanna admit that or not!

If you think about it…what moves people to envy is by identifying that someone else has as better than what they have. The envy comes after the thing has been judged to be “better”. The world should look at our “shoes”…the things that protect our “walk”…and they should clearly see that our shoes are better and more beautiful than theirs…it should inspire them to look at their own shoes and go, “Hmmm…so…where’d you get those? How much did they cost?”

As it is, what the world sees is a group of people walking around in old, worn-out, mismatching, stinky shoes…criticizing everyone else’s shoes…saying, “You need ones like ours!” Or, rather than coming into a room like my girls did today full of joy and excitement saying, “Wow! LOOK at my new shoes aren’t they beautiful!” No. We Christians often walk into a room, proudly, in our “church shoes”…with our noses in the air and we make snide comments to people about how great our shoes are.

If you think about all the different ways you could present your shoes to another person, you really can see how effective or not the presentation would be and why the world finds the church nauseating!

What if you walked into a room and to present your “church shoes”…you…

…argued with other people who had similar shoes that yours was the best pair…
…did nothing but talk about your “church shoes” and had never even heard of other shoes…
…handed pamphlets out to all who didn’t have “church shoes” to tell them why their shoes suck and yours are the best…
…you stood in the center of the room and preached to all in the room about the superiority of your “church shoes” to all the other shoes in the room…
…you were constantly pointing out to everyone that every problem they have in life is because they don’t have a pair of shoes like yours…
…you kicked people or stepped on their toes with your “church shoes”…

All of the analogies work…and how many of us try to “evangelize” like this? How many of us try to “minister to the world” in these ways?

Then when we’re rejected, scorned, or mocked we tell ourselves it’s because we’re doing that verse…“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Tim. 3:12” when in actuality it is because we are NOT.

When we work on our own lives and living godly in Christ Jesus…everything about us will become more and more attractive to the world…and we won’t have to “say” a word to them…they’ll just want what we have because they’ll see it…they’ll be “jealous” of it…

Live…in a way that “might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.”

Look at your “spiritual shoes” today…
Does your whole “outfit match”? Examine all the things that you believe and ask yourself if those things “match” or do they contradict?
Do you believe that you must repent to be saved, but, that babies are sinful, but don’t go to hell when they die? Do you believe we’re ‘born sinful’ and can’t help but sin but yet somehow owe God an apology for it? Do you believe that “God is love” but that when bad things in life happen that “God must have a reason for it”? Do you believe that you are a Christian parent but yet you ignore, and cause your child pain to “teach them a lesson”? Do you believe you are “pro-life” but yet find children to be a big pain in the butt? Do you obey the law of the land? Do the hurting and unloved feel safe coming to you? Do you ave a reputation for being “religious” or for being honest and dependable and a good person? Do you believe you are more loving than God because if you knew that tomorrow I was going to be hit by a car you’d warn me but yet you believe God knows the future and yet does not warn me? Do you believe God is love but yet has PLANNED from the beginning that I’d be hit by that car? None of these things match! 
Are your shoes old? Outdated? Worn out?
Is the foundation for your doctrine stuff that was written by “a man” hundreds of years ago? Is the doctrine which is the foundation for your daily life something that was timely when it was presented to the church way back then, but now it just makes your faith look “weird” to the world in a negative way? 
Are your shoes comfortable? Or do they hurt your feet and interfere with your walk?
Because of doctrines which teach us that our flesh is just “evil” we often will disregard its signals that what we believe is just wrong…Like people who are angry with God for years over something they believe God did while at the same time they believe He’s good…If your doctrine gives you pain you need to change your shoes…
Are your shoes bought “from of the Bible” or bought “at a Church”?
Do you refer constantly to what your church believes or what you were taught growing up or what you were taught in “Bible College” or what your favorite “author” thinks? Or, do you get your shoes straight out of the Bible?
Are the shoes the right size for you or do they make you trip?

Do you still wear the SAME shoes as you did YEARS ago? Or, do you buy the same exact shoes year after year?
If you were to talk to you 10 years ago “right now” would you and that person agree on everything?
Do your neighbors look at you and admire you or do they think you’re a “Jesus Freak”?

Look at “your feet”…

Go shoe shopping…

As soon as you notice your neighbors and friends going, “Whoo” at your “shoes”…you’ll know you’re on the right path and don’t need to go on the “God Channel’s What Not to Wear” show… :)

Again, if I had time to write a book…this analogy could go on and on and on and on…long enough that I could wear out my keyboard, I’m sure!


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