Day 19: January 19, 2023

Shake off the dust, Keep Moving Forward

Key Verse to Read and Treasure:

If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, Let your peace return to you. And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words then you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.—Matthew 10:13-15 (NKJV)

For Insight

In many ways the Christian Church has not always given the best counsel to people living in abusive or toxic relationships. Far too long, in many denominations the counsel was for the abused to remain in place while praying for their abuser to change, consider how they might be contributing to the abuse taking place, trust in God for change but under no circumstances leave the marriage or relationship. Unfortunately, this kind of counsel resulted in tragic outcomes and regrets. Thank God, that kind of counsel has come to an end in most churches and now the Church puts the safety and wellbeing of the abused, first.

Some Christians might be surprised at how Jesus felt about living or staying in toxic environments. His counsel for people whose peace was rejected was not to “endure” abuse or mistreatment, but to react in a spiritually and emotionally healthy way when their peace was not received. After all, God has called us to live in peace. And that includes in the Church, in our communities, in the workplace, with one another and in home and family.   

Jesus says when our peace is not returned, we are to shake the dust from our feet say “bye-bye” and keep moving forward with peace in our heart. In other words, Jesus does not want his sheep to endure environments of hostility, toxicity, unrest, or confusion. He does not counsel us to stay and fight but to feel at peace and empowered to exit that environment when the spirit of darkness rejects the light and peace we bring.   

When we shake the dust off our feet, we are not just physically leaving but also separating ourselves from the behavior we experienced. We are not to take the ways of the abusive with us into other relationships or into a new workplace. We are not to carry the spirit of discord, negativity, or abuse into our future but leave that behind us for good. As far as the east is from the west that is how far that sin, darkness, and misery should be from us. This is action that has the blessing of God for the children of God.    

Jesus, you have given us a spirit of discernment and courage. Let us shake the dust from our feet whenever our peace is not returned. This would not be sinful nor displeasing to you but your provision for us. Amen

On a Scale of 1-10

How peaceful is your environment? Is there someplace or someone who does not receive or return your peace? What is the next act of faith you can take to shake the dust off your feet?  

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