We can tell a lot about a person by looking at their feet. Some of us pay closer attention to feet than others. I learned to take note of my feet from my golden retriever, my grandson and my cat. I noticed all three of them watched my feet when I came through the house.
Brulee, my golden retriever, would rise instantly, wagging her tail, if she spotted me wearing my tennis shoes. I could almost see her thinking, Boy, oh boy, we're going for a walk!
When my grandson visits and sees me stride through the house in my golf shoes, his shoulders slump. "Papa, you're not going to work; you're going to play golf. Aren't we going swimming today?"
He took clues from shoes. Even at 8 years old, he knew what work shoes meant for his day. In his world, a barefoot Papa means pool time.
My cat, KoKo, has a visceral response to any kind of footwear. "What? You're leaving again?" He immediately attacks my feet and tries to bite the back of my legs.
My dad taught me about feet too. "Always make sure the backs of your shoes are shined, son," he told me. "That'll be the last thing people see of you as you walk away."
Living in Florida has also taught me something about feet: Flip-flops constitute appropriate footwear for both church and fine dining. I'd really mess with my cat if I left the house in flip-flops.
I know feet matter to God, because the Bible contains a wealth of information about them.
We often sing and speak of of the "beautiful feet" mentioned in Isaiah 52:7. These are the feet that take the gospel to the nations: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings good news of happiness, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'"
"Give careful attention to the paths for your feet, and be steadfast in all your ways" (Prov. 4:26, NIV). We must keep an eye on our feet as we follow Jesus. It's easy to stray from the narrow path if don't pay special attention to His feet and our own.
Our hearts also have a powerful connection to our feet: "Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path" (Ps. 44:18).
If we're not careful, we can allow our hearts to become hardened to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. A wounded heart can develop scars or pockets of pain that move our feet to stray from His perfect path. When this happens, we can walk to places that both damage our feet and hurt our heart: "Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?" (Prov. 6:28).
Our feet leave a mark, or footprint, that shows where we've traveled on land. We can change the landscape or environment of a place when our feet take us there. Our path also impacts our heart with footprints we can't erase on our own.
But Jesus takes care of this task for us, offering cleansing, forgiveness and hope.
He did this when He washed His disciples' feet (John 13:1-17). Peter expressed his obvious reluctance to have His Master perform this servant's duty. Jesus set him straight: "'If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me'" (John 13:8b, MEV). Perhaps when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, their hearts were also cleansed.
When we walk with Jesus, we know the truth of this familiar verse: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps. 119:105). His Word provides the guidance we need to stay on the narrow way (see Matt. 7:13). As we walk, we need to ask ourselves these three questions:
Who is walking with me?
Is my light shining as I walk?
What will I do when I reach my destination?
Keep His Word as your light everywhere you go. Never take someone you love with you to a place where He has not led you. Make sure He is leading you—and your feet.
If you find yourself uncomfortable, take a look at your feet. Don't let them take you where your heart doesn't want to go.
Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the multimedia group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. Find his book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, at amazon.com, christianbook.com or at your local bookstore.
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Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's leadership e-newsletter.
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