These shoes were made for walkin'

 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peaceEphesians 6:15

We've all been admonished to "walk a mile in their moccasins" in order to understand someone else's point of view.  Good suggestion.  But we are exhorted in Scripture to walk in a different manner.  Our feet are to be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  Let's unpack that verse....

First of all, this verse is in the midst of the passage sometimes referred to as "The Christian's Dress for Success"  -- putting on the armor of God so that we can successfully withstand the attacks of the enemy.  What do shoes have to do with it?

Well, the writer of this epistle is drawing on a picture quite familiar to the readers of his day -- that of the Roman soldier.  The image evoked here would be of thick shoes, strapped onto the feet of the warrior.  The bottom of the shoes would be studded with iron nails which provided better traction on rugged terrain as well as protection from razor sharp spikes stuck in the ground as enemy traps.  The shoes were strapped on with secure binding so that they wouldn't come loose in the battle.

The Gospel of Peace prepares the Christian to walk successfully in the battle, to endure the rugged trail, to avoid injury from the traps set by the enemy.  But how?  This Gospel of Peace is not referring to our peace with God (that's taken care of by the breastplate of righteousness...but that's another post).  No, the Gospel of Peace is referring to our relationship with others. 

The counsel given here is that having peace with others is a key to victory in our walk of life.  Peace, reconciliation, that is possible because we have peace with God ourselves. 

When there is not peace with others, we are prone to stumble along the trail.  To get cut by the spikes set out by the enemy of our souls.  To be unable to walk or stand, sustaining injury.  Practically speaking, this looks like bitterness towards a sister.  Hard-heartedness towards a neighbor.  Avoidance of a former friend.  Private pains of loneliness, feelings of rejection, depression over unmet needs, isolation.

Maybe we need to strap on the shoes of peace and walk to someone today for reconciliation.  If this brings a name or two to your mind, I hope you'll walk on, sister.  Walk on.  Victory's in sight - for you - not to mention what it will do for your comrade.