Recently, I have been meditating on this verse. Why is it that for me my feet always seem to be wet when I am trying to shake the dust off? You know, like when you go to the beach and your feet are in the salt water then you walk in the sand…hard to shake off. You can shake off the loose sand, but you must find more water to really clean your feet. Sometimes it does not seem like it’s worth getting your feet wet in the first place.
Our bare feet touch the sand and sometimes it can be hot and burning. We put our feet in the salt water and our feet are healed and cleansed. Then we are in the sand again…itchy, scratchy, sticky sand. The hot sand can be like life…hot, burning. The salt water is like God’s word, cleansing, healing. Then we return to the sand with our wet feet. Into our lives our relationships…itchy, scratchy and sticky. Sometimes you just can’t shake the sand off until you rinse with more water.
I always thought of shaking the dust off as just that. Shake the dust off…keep on moving don’t look back. Close the door. Some how it does not work that way for me. No matter what, I would always have some dust stuck to my feet. Maybe just between my toes a little but still there, reminding me that I didn’t rinse well enough. Reminding me that I have not cleaned them all the way, that I have not truly looked for God’s will in the situation.
When Jesus told us to shake the dust off, I believe He was talking about those who did not receive Him as the Son of God. When I read this verse during this time in my life, I believe that sometimes, Christians must sometimes shake off other Christians. That does not mean that you don’t pray for one another or even love one another. It does not mean that you gossip about each other or post passive aggressive face book posts about each other. It means telling the truth in the most loving way that you can. It means that we are not the light, we are to point to the light, and it is not our job to fix people. Even other Christians. Our youth pastor showed a sermon at one of our meetings about how we are not “the” light and I believe that all Christians need to get that into our hearts. Jesus Christ pulls us out of the pit, we just shine the light up. If we continually look at other Christians to pull us out of the pit we miss the true light, Jesus.
Interesting enough, the only time I have had these situations arise in my life are with other believers. Believers who believe that their convictions should be the same as everyone else. Believers that think that I should be a part of their lives when they are contradicting the gospel in ways that are offensive to my heart. Believers that will not seek help and continue to make excuses for poor behavior. Brothers and sisters, if you believe the gospel, you will know that Christ is our healer. Not each other. We can pray, we can support but we must lean on Christ.
My prayer is that I am always in the word when I need to shake the dust off. That no one that I serve misses HIM because I am trying to be “the” light instead of pointing to the true light in my life. Jesus Christ.