"But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, 'Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the Kingdom of God has come near." Luke 10:10-11
"The One who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me." Luke 10:16
These words made me stop in my tracks this morning after I read them. I realized how often I don't speak out for Christ, for truth, because of my fear of rejection. Oh, I hear others be bold, not just on a computer screen where I think we all feel a certain cyber-courage, but in real life situations, in social situations and sometimes even on mission trips. While I've had my nervy moments, I certainly wouldn't count myself among those who boldy, consistently speak out. And that frustrates me about myself. Today I asked God why. Why, at age 40, when I know where my security lies and I don't really think I've got anything to prove... why don't I just say what needs to be said more often? When too much O*prah-theology creeps into conversations in groups of women, when someone is obviously buying a lie of the enemy couched in the latest Christian fad, when some trite saying is spoken as truth, to which everyone else nods but inside I'm thinking "Chapter and verse... where is that?? Does that line up with Scripture?? I don't think so!" But, so often I sip my Diet Whatever and decide not to cause a stir. I don't want to hurt her feelings. I don't want to draw attention to myself. Besides, maybe I'm wrong... Yes, perhaps I'm mistaken... I'll go home later and look that verse up with my Greek lexicon or see what John Piper says, maybe I shouldn't speak too soon...
And then the moment's gone.
Yep. That's bold alright!
Why am I like that? I think I've still got the dust of rejection clinging to my sandals. I never shook it off. Over the years I've put myself "out there" (though the times are pretty few and far between, if I'm honest) but the rejections have happened. I can even go back to childhood and think of times I was subtly and not-so-subtly rejected- as all kids are at one time or another. There was dust to shake off and I didn't do it. I let it cling to me into my adolescent years, and apparently right into my forties. This morning I read Christ's words, "...the one who rejects you rejects Me..." Even as a child, if anyone rejected me, they were rejecting Him for He also said, "Whoever receives one child in My Name receives Me" Mark 9:37
I didn't really think much about it until today, but as I read those verses by God's grace I was convicted that I've been dragging rejection and its resulting insecurity around with me for years. It's not noticeable to everyone, because after all, it's just dust particles clinging to my spiritual sandals, but it's there.
And I think it's time to shake it off.