While, on occasion, I’ve mistakenly worn one black shoe with one brown, I’ve never been forced by necessity to wear a mismatched pair. Not so with Archie Bunker of the famed and often irreverent comedy, All in the Family.
While I never agree with Archie on any subject, I remember one episode when he shared a heart-wrenching story from his fictitious childhood. As a young boy, his family was too poor to buy him a new pair of shoes, so he wore what he had. Every morning he pulled on one boot and one sneaker. Naturally, kids in the neighborhood taunted him, chanting, “Rooty, tooty, here comes Shoe-Booty.”
Sad story for a sitcom, huh? It’s really sad, though, when Christians live like Shoe-Booties. We do that when we wear prayer, Bible reading, church attendance, and other Godly pursuits on one foot while the other foot boasts materialism, pride, selfish ambition, and idolatry. With one foot dressed for God and the other for the world, we are spiritual Shoe-Booties.
The Bible, in James 4, cautions against such fickleness, warning that flirting with the world is nothing short of spiritual infidelity: You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4) James compares friendship with the world to an illicit affair where the unfaithful Christian breaks his/her marriage vow to God. Like a jealous husband or wife, the Spirit of God in us pines for our unadulterated affection and undying love. Of course, He knows our complete devotion to Him is best for us as well. God designed us to be most content when we are led by the Spirit and when we keep in step with Him. The world’s ways may seem appetizing and fulfilling, but don’t be fooled. They will leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth and emptiness in your soul. Are you often torn between God’s ways and the ways of the world?
Is one of your shoes decorated with crosses and fish symbols while the other is covered with dollar signs and status symbols? If so, it’s time to take a look at your spiritual footwear. “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24). Instead of being a Shoe-Booty, fill your spiritual closet with good things—God things—for the best look ever. Pair the Spirit of God with the Word of God for a perfect pair and a perfect fit. Together, the two will enhance your spiritual walk and you’ll enjoy the adventure of being led by the Spirit and keeping in step with Him.