Matthew 10: 14-16
“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
Jesus was sending out His twelve disciples to go preach the Good News to the Jews. He was giving them their marching orders and included this seemingly harsh admonition. Essentially…if they reject you, wash your hands of them, but you better be sure your heart was right and you delivered the news with love (i.e. “innocent as doves”).
Is there anyone in your life that you have tried to reach out to with the Gospel and they have blown you off? Perhaps a fellow Christian who is travelling down the wrong road and you are trying to warn them? At some point, it’s OK to disengage. You should continue to pray for them, surely, but Jesus Himself tells you that there comes a time when the right thing to do is walk away.
This isn’t about being callous and unloving. It’s about being a good steward of the time God has given you as well as the truth He has entrusted you with. I’ve agonized over “hard cases” myself…what could I say differently? Is there a Gospel tract that might work better? Perhaps I need to get them to talk to someone else? I think those are worthy questions, but at some point there comes a time to “shake the dust off your feet”. Remember: the time you invest in a person who has chosen to reject the truth could be better utilized with a person whose heart is open to it.
John 6:44 gives me great comfort on this one. Jesus said. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…” which means YOU are the messenger but the RESULTS are in God’s hands. You can’t argue or convince ANYONE into the Kingdom of God, so get over yourself and just be obedient to His call to share the Good News and make disciples!
Do it out of love, Dove!
Be shrewd, rather than rude, Dude!
If they blow you off…Fuggetaboutit…and give it to God in prayer.