How Do You Tie Your Shoes?
By DANNY MINTON
“How do you tie your shoes?” That’s one of those questions you can go through your entire adult life and never be asked unless it’s by your child. So I’ll ask again, “How do you tie your shoes?”
I interlace them once, form a loop with my left hand, and use my right-hand track around the left loop, pull the shoe string through the channel to make a second loop, then pull on both loops to tighten. That’s the only correct way, right? Wrong, of course!
Some people do the same, but form the loop on the right side and go around. Others form two loops and then interlace them. Some double knot, and if they have long laces and high-top shoes, they sometimes take the laces around the ankle and around to the front before tying.
Of course, some wear their shoes with the laces entirely removed. Add to this buckles, Velcro, straps, snaps, buttons, and shoes with no fasteners like loafers, boots, and house shoes.
The point is that each method is correct in its way. No method is right or wrong, and it depends on the person, shoe, and situation. In fact, the kind of shoes I wear determines my method of keeping them on my feet.
When it comes to church life, not everyone fastens their shoes the same way, with everyone walking with a different pair, some alike or similar and some completely different.
Not everyone likes how things happen at “church.” In worship, there are different likes with the songs we choose or the style of the lesson presented. One person likes one Bible class teacher, and the next person may not have the patience to sit through the class but likes someone else. Some folks like a deep Bible study class, while others want something that helps them overcome a specific life struggle. Some agree with whatever the elders or ministers say and will follow them anywhere, while others will seek more explanation before they make a move.
Some people like an early service, others a late one. Some like a service like a worship assembly, while others prefer small groups. Some like to sit in a lecture class, while others want to class with lots of discussion. Some like doing things differently and constantly changing things, while others prefer the traditional ways.
For the vast majority of what occurs in a congregation, there is no right or wrong way in the eyes of God. In fact, there are far more correct ways of doing things since many things we think are wrong, or correct for that matter, aren’t referenced in the Bible.
So how do you make everyone happy? Do you try to make them all “tie their shoes” the same way? It boils down to helping each other understand that we are all different, with different likes and dislikes on how and what we do.
Unity does not mean everyone has to think the same way or like the same things; unity does not mean we have the same interests and needs. Unity understands that everyone ties their shoes differently, and as long as they don’t fall off, how they are fastened doesn’t matter.
Being unified means teaching and leading others toward the one goal we all have, which is bringing others to Jesus. How we get there is not nearly as important as getting there, and let’s not forget we live in a lost world that needs people to lead them into a closer relationship with God.
It’s not how we tie our shoes that matters, but how we walk once we have them on, fastened, and are standing up. “We continually ask God to fill you with knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you will walk in a manner worth of the Lord.” Colossians 1:9-10
Danny Minton is a former Elder and minister at Southern Hills Church of Christ
Great perspective on unity and cooperation.