Into the Foolishness of God

The power of coming into agreement with God's Word and will

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In the Bible, the Hebrew word for peace, shalom is a deeply meaningful word. More than just the absence of conflict, shalom is an expression of wholeness and completeness.

In Colossians 3 Paul gives us a beautiful picture of believers living together in shalom and it’s far more than just a static absence of conflict.

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;  bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”

Bear with each other. Do you know what that means? It means to tolerate or put up with someones wrongdoing. Why? Because the Lord has forgiven us all of far worse. We are told not to enflame their passions, stir their pot, fan the flames… what have you. It’s not that we are doormats to be mistreated, or victims to be abused, but we are not to be so selfish or hard-hearted that we cannot forgive.

God’s people aren’t immune to unforgiveness. Paul is addressing them directly telling them to clothe themselves with humility and kindness so that when offenses happen (and they always will) they don’t rule the heart. He’s showing them a way through it, a proper way to handle it so that the whole community will remain whole, in shalom.

When Paul wrote about the shoes of peace, he wasn’t talking about a flimsy pair of flip-flops. He was talking about the special sandals Roman soldiers wore to battle. Because they typically fought side by side, the thick-soled shoes enabled them to dig their feet firmly into the ground and not slip. The shoes grounded them.

The shoes of peace are an essential part to our offensive armor. It’s not always a bad thing to dig your heels in if it means you’re standing on the truth of shalom.  The enemy likes nothing more than to see our feet slip. If he can disturb the battle lines, he advances. That’s why forgiveness is so necessary in our lives. By harboring bitterness and resentment, we lose ground personally and corporately. As recipients of grace, we are commanded to also give grace. We are commanded to live in shalom and let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts no matter what.

An impossible task if we attempt it in the flesh. An absolutely normal and beautiful part of the Christian walk if we allow Jesus to work it out in us. Satan will never stop sowing strife among us… like little seeds of conflict being constantly dropped in the soil of our hearts. Our job is to recognize them and toss them out before they take root and grow into something bigger. Don’t water them. Don’t tend to them. Don’t let bitterness take root.

It may mean we operate differently with people. It may mean we set boundaries so as not to repeat the same mistakes over again. It may mean consequences. Anger itself isn’t a sin, it’s how we deal with it that leads us either to chaos or peace. Without the proper footing, the enemy will drag us off into total chaos. We are called to a higher standard, not an impossible one, but higher than that of the world. The fantastic news is that Jesus made it totally possible for us to live His way. It actually releases us to great freedom. When we go beyond forgiveness to praying for and loving those who hurt us, we slam the door shut on the chaos. The enemy can’t get in. His seeds can’t take root.

The sandals of peace help us hold the line. A shoeless soldier can be brought down by the smallest of rocks. Don’t let the enemy catch you in that state. We walk in peace, in shalom because Jesus made it possible for us to do so. It’s far easier to forgive and walk in freedom than it is to nurture the seeds of resentment.

Forgive. Walk on. Shut the door to the enemy. Enjoy the freedom and the wholeness that Jesus offers.

14 thoughts on “The Shoes of Peace Aren’t Flip-Flops

  1. Fran Rogers says:

    Oh, how many times have those battle shoes hurt my feet, but the blisters and the pain are work the suffering, for the glory that awaits in the victory that our Lord has already won for us. To walk in His shoes is the greatest joy through this wilderness. Thank you for this wonderful post that brings this reminder and praise to our Lord for calling us and opening the battle path for us. Blessings and rejoicing in our Lord this week-end and Lord’s Day. ~ Fran

    1. SharaC says:

      Wow thank you… those are some wise words!!

  2. This is a great perspective on peace. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a thought-provoking, spot on post about the shoes of peace. Yes, the shoes the Roman soldiers wore were rugged and strong. I believe they even pounded nails through the soles to give them more traction(like you say) for battle. I want to re-post this on my For His Glory blog. I glanced at some other of your recent post titles. I’m certain I’ll be reading those as well. I’m so grateful for discovering your blog and your love for Jesus, not to mention you’re a talented writer as well. I look forward to more of your thoughts and writing. God bless.

    1. SharaC says:

      Wow thank you so much for such kind words and more insight, really appreciate that. Have a blessed day, looking forward to more reading of your things as well!

      1. I’m reblogging your shoes of peace post on my blog tomorrow.

  4. By the way, your headline for this post is one of the best and most effective leads I’ve ever read. Who couldn’t resist to click on a heading this enticing. Great job!

  5. Joe Owens says:

    Forgiveness is easy to accept but hard to give to others Shara. At least that is the way lots of folks act or think. Why should I forgive them, they hurt me! Do we not think we trouble God with our disobedience? Yet He offered a way of forgiveness before many of us were even thoughts in our parent’s minds and certainly before we began to rack up our unending list of forgiveness needed acts. I like the verse you chose and the way you shared it. Steven Sawyer shared your blog post on his blog and I am here through him this time, but I want to make you a part of my regular reading habit.

    1. SharaC says:

      Wow, thanks Joe for this! Really appreciate your thoughts and taking time to share… look forward to more reading and sharing.

      1. Joe Owens says:

        I have a faith-centered blog called Living the J.O.Y. Principle

  6. Brig Hart says:

    Amen.

    1. SharaC says:

      Thank you! 🙂

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