Ephesians 2:14-16 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations, his purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
God has called us to live in peace with others, but Satan wants us to live in chaos. He wants us to be bitter, angry, quick to take offense and remember every hurt and pain others inflict upon us. When we live this way, our inner peace is destroyed and we can’t live in harmony with others.
Roman Legionnaires wore special footgear, called caliga. This half boot, half sandal was tied on with leather thongs halfway up the shin and the sole was made of several layers of leather studded with hobnails which enabled him to dig his feet into the ground.
“Like the Roman Legionnaire, we must take our stand on formation with our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Paul’s image of caliga reminds us that we are prepared to stand against the enemy’s attacks only when we are firmly grounded in the gospel of peace.”¹
The gift of the cross is the key to peace. The cross is our proof of God’s justice. All sin must be punished which is why Christ had to die on the cross. Jesus bore our sins so that God could forgive us. It is because of the forgiveness we received that we must forgive others when they hurt us and release the bitterness and anger towards them.
There are four steps to tying on the sandals of peace and breaking Satan’s hold.
- Make a list of people you need to forgive or those who need to forgive you.
- Choose to forgive the person who sinned against you.
- Seek reconciliation with those who have wronged you by giving them the opportunity to apologize and accept your forgiveness and with those you have wronged by apologizing and asking for forgiveness.
- Pray asking God to bless those who hurt you.²
Ephesians 6:15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
As I lace up my sandals today, bring to my mind anyone I have not extended forgiveness to or, possibly, someone I need to ask forgiveness so that I can reconcile the relationship. If, for some reason, this is difficult, help me to work it out so that bitterness and anger does not set up residence in my heart. Thank You for sending Your Son to die on the cross for my sins and giving me the forgiveness that cost You so much. Amen.