When Jesus sent his disciples out two by two, he tells them how to handle the relationships they will encounter along the way. He tells them what to do if the people they meet, the ones assigned to them, don’t receive their values well. In effect Jesus said, “If they don’t receive you, shake the dust off your feet, and go on to the next city” (see Matthew 10:14).
The disciples are finishing their theological residency. They’ve been working with Jesus and learning from him, and he huddles with them and prepares them for some real stuff, hands on, so to speak — field education. He’s getting them ready to practice what they have learned from him and sending them out into certain villages and towns to do ministry.
The “shaking the dust off” is a symbol of not to take the residue of their rejection from one place, one season, or one relationship into another. To do so is dangerously toxic and unhelpful.
I see this in people who just can’t seem to hold onto a job long enough to develop their inner strengths, and work on relationships with the boss and coworkers. If you ask them why, they’ll tell you that it was never their fault. His employer and his company and all those workers are wrong. Still in the blame game, never take responsibility for their own life.
People with dusty shoes will manipulate their way to the next job carrying the residue from their previous workplace. They’re self-centered, with arrogant thinking and behavior, a lack of empathy and consideration for others. They’re cocky, manipulative, selfish, patronizing, contemptuous and demanding. Sometimes they find a boss who is weak and pull a wool over her eyes and control them. A typical narcissist and codependent relationship. They’re dancing so well together.
My ministry is deep level healing. I desire people to find their true self, acknowledge their abilities and thrive. There are people who just don’t want to be helped. I’ve been deceived so many times by these types of people. I’ve been talking to God about this. “Lord, I thought this person was my assignment.” I’ve learned that sometimes it’s all in the experimentation… a learning process for me. God was like saying, “I didn’t give them to you to enable.” Ok Lord, I shake the dust off my shoes and move on. Basically I tried to control the relationship between the client and myself that began to breed resentment. “OK Father, I give them back to you.”
Looking back I definitely learned something. Let go and let God.
Stay accurate, heavy on the positive side. Always looking at the bright side of things. Forgive. Trust your instincts. Lead with an open heart. Don’t let others run your day. Do things that bring you joy. Be of service to humanity. Find your soul tribe. Love yourself. ❤ Father what we know not, teach us. What we have not, give us. What we are not, make us for your Son’s sake. Amen