“Shake it off” is something my football coaches would say after getting my bell rung by a good hit. It carried over into words I would use with my children after a fall or a disappointment – “shake it off.” My coaches were not being insensitive, nor was I – we wanted to acknowledge the hurt, but also encourage the strength within the injured so they could move on and get back into the game.
Jesus offered similar guidance to his followers as they set out to help God’s people with their pain and announce Jesus as the kingdom of heaven among us. He told them to find a welcoming household and bless it – but Jesus also prepared them to respond to inevitable rejection. Not everyone would be open to a new message or way of thinking about God.
Jesus wanted his team to stay emotionally strong – he needed them to stay in the game!
Rejection can be hurtful or embarrassing – it injures a person’s emotions which can be deeper than physical pain. “Shake the dust off your feet” was Jesus’ way of telling them to leave the rejection behind. He did not want a lasting influence to slow them down from their message, or their life. It was an encouragement to move past the hurt and continue on.
How do you respond when others throw shade because of who you are?
Jesus’ guidance is wisdom for life. When my bell got rung – physically or otherwise – I was usually more embarrassed than injured. My coach’s counsel was to move past it. Don’t let the view of others influence you – find your strength and get back in the game.
Next time someone disses you because of your beliefs or personality – or you make a mistake and feel uncomfortable – “Shake it off!” Be confident in who you are – and get back in the game.
Their views say more about them than it does about you or God.