In last week’s Imperfect Wives radio show, Cherie asked me if I could give a personal illustration of when I had chosen to wear combat boots instead of shoes of peace. I didn’t have to reach too far back in my memory for a story of my husband and I in line at a Seattle Sounders game.
The lines were extraordinarily long, being the first day that the stadium had set up new security procedures. Even though we had arrived early, we watched the clock as the start time of the game past and we were still at least three hundred people back from the entrance. My husband noted a small group of people snaking their way inside a fence and past the crowd that we stood in to enter the game without waiting. My husband’s comment: “Maybe we should get in that line.”
With my boots of combat laced up high and a righteous chip on my shoulder, I immediately shot back, “You wouldn’t really teach our children to CUT, would you?” And without another breath, launched into a preaching lecture about what Jesus would do if he was here, citing “The first will be last, and the last will be first,” just to drive my point home.
Are you embarrassed for me yet?
It is needless for me to say, we sat next to each other during that game with a tension of unrest, instead of a spirit of love and peace. Not at all what I had envisioned or wanted for a fun night out at the game.
But I had made a choice.
A choice to wear combat boots instead of shoes of peace.
Our scripture from last week was, Ephesians 6:15 NLT, “For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.”
The question I want to ask this week is: What leads us to put on boots of combat verses shoes of peace?
Last week we talked about motivation. An important key to unlocking out patterns of poor communication and understanding what type of shoes we wear.
We can be motivated by our need to be heard. We can be motivated by fear. We can be motivated by silence.
After the radio show last week, I realized that my motivation in the scenario above was clearly led by my need to judge my husband’s intentions. I want you to notice that my husband never acted on his comment, but I assumed, somehow that he might base on the fact that he mentioned the shorter line regardless of the man of character and integrity that I know him to be.
I have no right to judge others. The Bible is clear about that.
John 7:24 (ESV) “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
James 4:12 (ESV) “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”
Luke 6:37 (ESV) “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
What interests me the most, one of my biggest pet-peeves is when people judge me, thinking they understand who I am or what my intentions are. I guess it’s time to hold up the mirror and take a really good look. It may not be pretty, but necessary if I am going to change.
I am thankful that God’s love, kindness, grace and mercy over-shines my failures.
If you have fell into the trap of wearing combat boots, know that you are not alone. Start today a new by reading this passage of scripture from the Message Bible and then move on in your shoes of peace.
GOD is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
GOD feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.