The admonition to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes means that before judging someone, you must understand his experiences, challenges, weaknesses and thought processes. The complete idiom is: Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. Practice empathy; be sensitive to the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another. I gained appreciation for that exhortation a few years ago when I fell and tore the rotator cuff in my shoulder. Years prior, my dear mom had taken a nasty fall down a flight of steps, requiring a complete shoulder replacement. Her physical therapy was grueling, and I would get so frustrated with her when she would not follow the exercise regimen. The edge of that criticism was shaved off quickly when I was the one in pain, when I was struggling to complete those painful exercises, when I was the one in the sling.
I sometimes find myself reading the history of Israel and being terribly critical. Wow, how could they not trust God; goodness, with the miracles they witnessed, how could they not be submissive and obedient? But just for a moment, let’s walk a mile in their shoes. God gave His children the Law, statutes by which to live and to govern their society. One such law concerned the Sabbaths for their land. “Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather the fruit thereof.” Do your farming as usual for six years, but on the seventh year, allow the land to rest, it “shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, not prune thy vineyard.” In essence, God was asking them to place their source of livelihood completely on hold, leaning on His provision alone…for one full year!
“What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase.” What will we eat with no crops, how shall we sustain our little ones? God promised to bless them abundantly the sixth year, “and it shall bring forth fruit for three years.” Just trust Me; sit back and be amazed! God’s command fell upon deaf ears, and centuries later, the nation would go into captivity in Babylon, spending one long year in exile for every year that they ignored that faith-testing Sabbatical law.
As much as I am tempted to shake my head at Israel’s blatant disobedience and lack of faith, I am reminded that I have failed at the faith exercise many times myself. God stakes His reputation on the fact that He promises to care for me and provide for my needs; God, give me the faith “as the grain of mustard seed,” the faith to trust You more fully.
Matthew 17:20 …for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall…
Lord, I am so often as Israel, my faith is shaky, my obedience incomplete. Strengthen my faith in You, the One Who has never failed me, the One Whose promises are firm and sure.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2699-62841147a0f13' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2699&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2699-62841147a0f13' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2699-62841147a0f13' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>