top of page

Cheap-Shoes Faith

Today, I have a story for you. Did you know shoes are SUPPOSED to be comfortable? I didn't.

When I was in seventh grade, I played varsity basketball at my small, Christian school. I was 5’ 10” tall, and the high school didn’t have enough girls to make a team, so they recruited me. So, just to be clear, this wasn’t because I was an exceptional basketball player.


As part of the uniform, the team was to wear white Nike high top tennis shoes that cost $50. My mother, as good a bargain-hunter as anyone you’d ever meet, was not about to pay that much for a pair of children’s shoes to wear for one sports season.


I got a pair of white “Balloons” for $10. I’ll never forget the shame of that word on the side of my shoes when everyone else had Nikes. Did I have constant blisters and twist my ankles regularly that year because of my cheap shoes?


I didn’t know anything different. Growing up as a pastor’s daughter, we just didn’t spend a lot of money on clothes and shoes. We always looked nice, but there were few name brands at our house. My feet were always sore, and I thought it was just the price of beauty. I thought I preferred to be barefoot.


Don’t get me wrong. As bad as my shoes hurt my feet, I loved pretty shoes. As an adult, I had an enormous collection of shoes. I was willing to endure the misery for a time for the sake of beauty.


Then, I got married. My husband refuses to buy a pair of shoes unless they’re comfortable. When we went shoe shopping together for the first time, I was annoyed with how long it took him. We went from store to store, trying on numerous pairs, before he finally found one that was acceptable.


When I saw the price of these exceptional shoes, I couldn’t believe it. My normally frugal husband wanted to spend over $100 on one pair of shoes! When I shared my surprise, he was confused.


“How much do you normally spend on a pair of shoes, Kimberly?”


“I try not to spend more than $20-30 each. Sometimes, less!” I replied, proudly.


He suddenly understood why I had so many of them. He also understood why I always complained about my shoes hurting my feet.


“Kimberly,” he said, chuckling, “I only have three pairs of shoes. One for work, one for dressing up, and one pair of sneakers. They last me a long time and are comfortable, so I don’t mind spending more on them. I’ve probably spent $500 on my three pairs of shoes. If you have 50 pairs of $30 shoes, you’ve spent $1500 on a whole bunch of shoes you can’t stand to wear. Get rid of all those junky shoes and let’s get you three pairs of good shoes that you can wear all the time.”


This concept was so foreign to me, I couldn’t comprehend it. I didn’t actually believe shoes could be comfortable and cute. Also, I didn’t want to only have three pairs of shoes!


It took a few years, but he eventually convinced me. It started with one good pair of black boots. They were expensive, but I could wear them all day long without any trouble. They recently wore out, which was a weird situation for me. My shoes rarely ever wore out before because I just didn't wear them that much.


As I’m cleaning out closets these days, preparing for our upcoming move, deciding what stays and what goes, I’m closer to that point my husband suggested all those years ago. I’m about to donate all my uncomfortable shoes and embrace part of his philosophy.

I say “part” because I cannot reduce my shoes to only three pairs. For women, we have to have more options to go with the seasons and our outfits. And it’s nice to have a few pairs just for fun. But if we buy a few good pairs of comfortable, everyday shoes, we can slowly build up a variety of other, comfortable options.  


Why in the world am I telling you this story about shoes on my Christian lifestyle blog, though? Good question! I’m so glad you asked.


How many of you settle for a faith that’s like cheap shoes - low on investment, but it looks pretty good!? Then, because you’ve settled for a faith that resembles my cheap shoes, you think you prefer to be barefoot – exposed and vulnerable. You think life is better when you rely upon yourself, rather than trusting your Heavenly Father to protect you.


You’re missing the wonderful benefits of a strong, quality relationship with God, and you don’t even realize it’s available. All you see is the investment, and it feels like more than you can handle.


Shallow, “cheap-shoes faith", doesn’t provide the soul satisfaction and wonder of deep connection with the God of the universe. The investment is 100% worth it, but you’ll never know it if you don’t try it out.


How do I try it out? I hear you asking! Try an experiment that is going to initially sound like a big investment, but will be worth it.

  1. Set aside a couple of hours where you can be undisturbed.

  2. Silence all technology. Seriously. Put it away. Turn it off. During these two hours, turn off all noise and distractions.

  3. Pray something like this: Jesus, will You come and hang out with me during this time? I want to get to know You better. 

  4. LISTEN.


I did this at a park on a beautiful day. My daughter had gymnastics, and I usually run errands during that time. Instead, I drove to a park, thinking I'd take a walk. But, my allergies were awful that day, so I sat in my car with the windows rolled up and the air conditioner on. Whatever.

You can go for a walk in the woods or sit in your closet or find an empty room at your church. Just find a place where you can clear your mind of distractions.


Sanctify your imagination and allow yourself to imagine what Jesus looks like, what He’s wearing, and what the expression on His face is as He looks at you. Beyond asking Him what He wants to say to you, don’t talk to Jesus. Just listen. He might not say anything. That’s okay. Just sit in the silence with Jesus.


You’re likely to feel jittery and uncomfortable as your nervous system settles down from the constant influx of notifications and demands on your attention from technology. Embrace it. Breathe deeply and think through all the parts of your body as you relax.


cheap shoes faith
Click the image to save to Pinterest

This exercise is called abiding with Christ. He may speak to you right away, or He may not speak at all. Give Him the opportunity to share anything with you He wants. Maybe He just wants to sit quietly with you. Give Jesus your undivided attention for two hours and see what He has in mind for you.


In the same way I learned how comfortable good shoes can be, you’re about to learn how beautiful a relationship with Jesus can be. I’m excited for you to try it! It’s totally worth it.


Blaming God for not showing up for you when you haven’t given Him this kind of time to speak to you is like saying you prefer to be barefoot when you’ve never tried good, comfortable shoes. Don’t settle for the cheap imitation that only looks good if you don’t look too closely. Invest in the real thing and see the difference it makes.

In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.

This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No—but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.

-2 Corinthians 2:14-17 MSG

In closing, I know there are some significant benefits to walking around outside barefoot. It's called grounding, and it helps reset the electrical systems in our bodies. Very good stuff. Definitely try that, too. But for today, ask yourself if you've been blaming God for failing you when you haven't given Him the opportunity to really speak to you.

You can't be mad at God for not protecting you when you never stopped to ask Him what you should and shouldn't do, then listened for the answer. Don't settle for a cheap faith that leaves you unsatisfied. Make the investment and see what a real relationship with God is like.

If you give this experiment a try, I'd love to hear from you. Let me know how it goes. You can email me at Or just comment below on this blog post. ♥



email subscription banner
Type your email address in the pop up box. No spam!


bottom of page