“Feeling sorry for ourselves is the most useless waste of energy on the planet. It does absolutely no good. We can’t let our circumstances or what others do or don’t do control us. We can decide to be happy regardless.” – Joyce Meyer
In three of the four Gospels Jesus tells the disciples to “shake off the dust of their feet” when they leave a city in which they tried to preach the Good News and in return found rejection and dispute.
When he says this, Jesus is referring to the custom performed by Jews when they left a place of Gentiles (non-believers). To the Jew, the dust and dirt of a Gentile road or city is defiling. Therefore, when a Jew left a Gentile land, they shook every last bit of dust off their feet to ensure that they were clean of the contamination of the Gentiles.
In the Gospels, Jesus is saying, just as a Jew shakes the dust off their feet when they leave the land of a Gentile, so should you when you leave the place where you are not received.
Even outside of the Gospels, when Paul and Barnabas faced persecution and abuse in Acts 13 they shook the dust off of their feet, just as Jesus taught.
I think there are instances today in which we still need to “shake the dust off our feet”.
Maybe you’ve been holding a grudge against someone for a long time. Maybe someone hurt you deeply and you haven’t felt quite the same since. Maybe you keep trying to reach out to someone and all you receive in return is heartbreak and rejection. Maybe an event in your life has left you bitter and angry.
You might need to shake the dust off your Nikes and move on.
It doesn’t mean you’ve given up on a person you’re trying to get through to.
It doesn’t mean your closing yourself off from other people because of the way they’ve treated you.
It doesn’t mean you still aren’t hurt by how a situation turned out.
It means you’re giving it up to the One who can breathe life into the dust we’ve shaken off.
Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).
Parents: Ask your children what bothers them. What makes them really angry? Share with them how God wants to take that from them so they won’t have to be angry anymore.