Shoes Are for Wearing…

. . . not  for  showing.

[ An  example of training in Christian humbleness.]


Katie,  an  adorable  little girl, about 5 or 6, was always glad to see visitors come, especially us. Soon after we arrived and news items exchanged, Katie eagerly ran to her Mother to whisper something in her ear.  Mother  leaned down to hear her little daughter’s request.

The  visitors were  a bit surprised to see Mother’s  face becoming  solemn, as she  shook her head.  Quietly, Mother said to her, “No, Katie.  Shoes are for WEARING,  not for showing.” If I hadn’t been sitting right next to the Mother, I would have never heard the exchange.

Little  Katie  was sorely disappointed.  New shoes , not hand-me-downs,  were  a  rare  occurrence in her family for everyone.   It was a momentous occasion for her to  have brand NEW  shoes, never worn before by others. 


All Katie’s  delightful anticipation left her face.  Tears came, but she  gracefully  hid them  in Mother’s side as she squirmed into  the  big  chair to sit beside Mother. She sat quietly beside her Mother until the tears left and quietness returned. 

Mother then suggested  Katie  prepare the table for  a treat to serve the guests.  And Katie eagerly hopped up, ready to be her sweet, wholesome self again, and interact with the visitors.

And we adults went on talking, sharing the news of the day, as though nothing had happened.  This event happened 20 years ago and we have never forgotten the lesson in humbleness  applied  right before our eyes.   Katie also  has  not forgotten it, although  her  Mother likely has.

What   were those lessons  learned,  applied in this  Christian home ?  

The  obvious  one, of  course,  is  humility.   We do not parade our “new”  items  to others because that COULD be coming from a sense of  pride for having something new.  Also, it might make others feel bad if they have nothing new. Lesson one learned.

We do unto others

as we would have them do

unto us.


We  learn  to think  COMPASSIONATELY  towards others.

What if  they NEVER  had new shoes and always had to wear cast-offs ?   What if they NEVER  even had cast-offs ? 


What if they did not have parents who cared about them enough to provide any shoes at all ? Many children  have had that  experience to endure, in addition  to  family poverty.

Lesson two learned. 

The next  lesson is that DISAPPOINTMENT and sometime TEARS  go along with humility and learning to be humble.   We do not learn humility WHEN WE OBTAIN what we want.  We learn humility through disappointments.  We learn  that  the world does NOT revolve around us or our wishes.  Proud Self does not rule nor reign in life. 

Lesson three learned. 

Next,  we  learn a GREAT GOOD lesson as we endure the  correction of  Self  through  humiliation.  We learn to SUBMIT to authority,  the authority The LORD has placed over our lives.   

This fourth lesson  stands us in GOOD stead as we grow in CHRIST.  We learn to submit our Self unto JESUS our LORD.  We learn to submit  our fleshly man unto The HOLY SPIRIT.  

We learn  to  embrace The Living Word of GOD  and apply it to our lives whether we  agree with it or not.  The Word of GOD always limits our flesh. 

And in so doing, it brings us a continual RE-NEWING of that New Life granted to us in the waters of Holy Baptism.

The 5th  lesson little Katie showed us — for she had learned it well —  was to run TO  the one  who corrected her (  her wise Mother or Father).  Katie did not run AWAY from  her  Correctress  or Corrector.  

Instead, she  gathered up her tears and immediately took  her  disappointment and hurt  to the one who corrected her, knowing full well that Mother would  receive her  and  comfort her  sweetly even though Mother  “brought”  the correction to her character.  It was a  SWEET  moment  in  their lives.

The next  IMPORTANT  lesson,  #6 , that Katie had learned and showed us by her behavior was this:  No harsh  means of  discipline were needed  …  if the correction  was  immediately embraced and received as “good. ”  

Katie knew  from experience that Mother was going to stand like a ROCK  in her decision and no amount of  whining, crying, or temper tantrums would ever change that decision because Mother thought it was the BEST thing for Katie’s character.  It was to help her little child grow uprightly before The LORD. 

She also was well aware that those very UNCOMFORTABLE means of  correction would be applied to her  bottom-most parts if she  persisted in clamoring for her own way.

Young Katie could perceive that her correction was in keeping with the values of  being a Christian.  It was right in line with the other values in their CHRIST-centered home. It  did  NOT matter if  she  understood totally or  even agreed  with her Mother’s Christian value.  She needed only to obey at that moment, and all would be well.  Understanding would develop as she matured.

Lesson  number 7  was obvious.  The child responded with GREAT LOVE towards her Mother.  The Mother responded with GREAT  TENDERNESS  towards her daughter.

You see,  it  was a  Gift of Love to administer Righteous Correction.  So Katie felt  the  correction as LOVE … after her tears dried.  

Then Katie herself RESPONDED in love towards her Mother,  not fleeing from her, not hardening her heart towards her, not accusing her wildly of “never giving me what I WANT !” 

So,  LOVE was established in that home at that moment in time.   It was added to the other “moments of love”   in that home, established over time, as  those wise, Christian parents  based their loving correction upon The Word of GOD  and His+ Righteousness. 

+  +  + 

Let us Pray:

O LORD, Our Blessed Heavenly FATHER,   forgive me for  being  incorrigible and acting bad when YOU block my will. 

I  am  sorry  that I am not as well-behaved, O FATHER, as this little girl was,  when I  am  refused what my heart delights in. 

I  repent for sneaking around and enforcing my will.  I repent for being bitter and resentful  towards others and  towards YOU  when  I  am disappointed. 

Help  me to humble myself to YOU.  Help me not to kick against the goads when YOU  send  limitations and corrections to me.  

I may not understand them either, but I TRUST YOU in your actions with me.  Because YOU are GOOD, I trust that YOU are sending these hindrances of my will  for my own GOOD,  so I am not destroyed  in some way. 

Gracious Heavenly FATHER,  these corrections may not be what I want,  but I receive them from YOUR  Hand of Love.

I  give over my life , anew,  to YOU and submit to YOUR love and keeping.

Help me to show more Love back to YOU by my  sincere obedience to YOU,  to YOUR SON+ JESUS,  and to YOUR Holy Word. 

This  I  humbly pray — knowing full well — that humility  is  far  from being perfected yet, in my life. In the Name of my LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. 

+ + + 

Let  this mind be in you,

which was also in CHRIST JESUS,

Who+ being in the form of GOD,

thought it not a thing to be held on to,

but made HIMSELF+  of no  reputation,

and took upon HIM+  the form of a servant

and was made in the likeness of men.

And being found in fashion as a man,

HE+  humbled HIMSELF+ 

and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross.

Wherefore GOD has also highly exalted HIM+

and  given HIM+ a Name which is above every Name,

that  at the Name of




every knee should bow

of beings  in  Heaven, beings in earth,

and  beings UNDER the earth !

and that every tongue should confess that


to  the glory of GOD The FATHER  !

Philippians 2: 5- 11


















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