“Walk a mile in my shoes” is an old proverb that has no root in scripture. It likely began as an American Indian saying about not judging until you have experienced what my moccasins are experiencing, but no one knows the origin. But it does make sense to withhold judgment of someone else until you fully understand their motives for what they did/said.
An important element in this is ’empathy’, or the ability to feel what the other person is feeling. Every Christian should practice the art of empathy. When a person is angry, find out why they’re angry. If a person is fearful, try to discover what the root of the fear is. Empathy will help you come alongside them so you can help them on the journey. And coming alongside them in their trouble is walking a mile in their shoes. Start walking.
When Anita bakes a cake, she mixes together different ingredients. Except for the sugar, each one tastes pretty bad. But she carefully measures out a certain amount of each of the bad tasting ingredients following a recipe. Once mixed together, she puts the whole ill-tasting concoction into the oven and bakes them for a set amount of time. When it comes out of the oven, she puts it before us and it all tastes great. It was the combining of these not-so-tasty parts, and the season in the cooker, that brought out a great flavor, and earns praise for her cooking skills.
Its like that in life, as well. Life on this fallen planet can be full of painful and disappointing results. But God knows how to work all things together for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Loving God is a requirement for seeing His hand at work in these troubled times. When things look bad, don’t forget that God is good.
The sign of the highway says Speed Limit 55. You glance at your speedometer. It reads 60. A car passes you going at least 70. A huge semi follows, sucking you toward the center line. But what about the law – that 55 MPH sign?
Laws are lifeless words in statute books. They restrain only if power backs them up. Who of us hasn’t let up on the accelerator when a police car appeared in the rear-view mirror? But can you think of a time when a law or an officer instilled within you a love for driving 55?
That’s also true with God’s commands. Fear of punishment or getting caught may check our actions. But it takes a stronger force than that to make us want to obey. That power comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He has fulfilled the law perfectly, and by dying on the cross He paid the penalty for our breaking the law. God now declares, “No condemnation!”
God’s law shows us a need that only God’s grace can supply.
I stayed up a little later than usual last night to hear Donald Trump’s speech at the RNC. I was impressed. For once he stayed on target. He didn’t insult everybody that opposed him, but told us what we wanted to hear: what he would do as President. And he did it without wildly throwing out exaggerated emotional statements or alienating people he really needs. I didn’t expect that. It was a Presidential speech.
But, I understand that Donald Trump is a bit of Hollywood embodied and that he followed the teleprompter pretty closely. We still have a couple of months to see him in action to see if he is really settling down as our leader, or if this was just another staged act so he could “win” ratings. I believe the pressure he will be under will bring the real Donald Trump out into the open. In the meantime, I’m still holding out my vote for more information.
I know a lot of people who say they believe in God, but are still holding out their vote on Jesus. They believe that Jesus was a great moral leader, but they obviously haven’t entrusted their life to Him, which is what Lordship is. They’re still waiting for some great “sign”, apparently, that God loves them. The sign is that He died in your place. That’s enough for me.
We had a little excitement in our neck of the woods last night. A 7 or 8 year old boy from the addition across from our house ran away from home. As it was getting dark, sheriff’s deputies surrounded a corn field in which he was suspected to be hiding. The Samaritan helicopter made repeated passes over the cornfield, now over 6 feet high, but could not spot him. They finally brought in bloodhounds who tracked him and found him.
The excitement was that folks came out from all over Waterloo to line up along the perimeter of the field to watch for him. My wife noted, “Its crisis that brings people together. When the crisis was passed, they all went back into their privacy.” There’s a lesson in that.
I also observed that the boy couldn’t be found because he had chosen to run away and hide. There’s a difference between getting lost and intentionally hiding. I wonder how many of us haven’t just lost our way in life, but we have intentionally gotten ourselves lost. Rather than working out our problems, we stay hidden in our own corner of the cornfield and hope no one notices we’re in there. Obscurity becomes our safe haven.
But I’m so thankful that 44 years ago God sent in the Hound of Heaven to find me and rescue me. And my life hasn’t been the same since.
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:1-2).
Chinese Christian Watchman Nee wrote a book entitled Sit, Walk, Stand that changed my world when I was a new Christian. He pointed that that we must begin by perceiving that we are Seated in heavenly places with Jesus Christ. We must see ourselves in spiritual places, not in natural places. I am a citizen of plant earth, and a citizen of Heaven. I was born into the world, but I am seated with Christ in High Places. We must see ourselves as spiritual.
The second step is to Walk with Christ. I can’t stay seated, but I must get up and move in step with Him. He wants to change the world and the change begins with you and I. A walk demands that we are making progress and moving forward.
The third step is that we Stand. Paul says in Ephesians that we must put on the full armor of God so that we can defend against the spiritual attacks of the enemy, and that after all attacks have been released, that we should stand. With all the negatives in this world, how many of us are still standing for Christ? To stand firm in the face of many obstacles is the power of the Holy Spirit, Who never gives up on us.
Let’s Sit, Walk and Stand together.
Living out of town, we have a well and septic system at our house. In theory, a septic tank is self-sustaining. The bacteria inherent within the tank should keep deteriorating the solids indefinitely. In fact, however, the laundry detergent and soaps that flow into the same tank kill the bacteria so that solids build up over time. It is not self-sustaining. So, every three years I have to call a septic company to pump out my septic tank. Otherwise, solids would flow out and plug up the fingers that drain the tank. That would be a costly repair.
So, Monday we called in a big tank truck to pump out the tank. My two granddaughters, Raegan and Ruby were there, so I educated them on how a septic tank works and let them look down the opening into the tank. I explained to them how it worked and why we needed to do this maintenance. We called the man who pumped it out the ‘Honey-Dipper’.
As they were leaving at the close of the day, I reminded them, “Don’t forget to tell your Daddy who was at our house today”. Raegan got a kick out of telling her Dad the Honey-Dipper was at Grandpa’s House. I told her to tell him about it when they sat down for supper.
Nothing in this life is self-sustaining. Everything wears to a stop. Without routine maintenance, everything fails. And that includes the joy of the Lord in your life. Keep things pumped out and pure. Its the only way to sustain spiritual peace.