Shake off the dust, turn around and walk away
I don’t want to write about the following two verses. Who likes telling someone to clear off? I struggle to shake the dust off my shoes, turn around, and leave a person to his or her own devices. It’s so cruel and really not what God’s message of love means.
But Paul is very serious about this:
10Warn a quarrelsome person once or twice, but then be done with him. 11It’s obvious that such a person is out of line, rebellious against God. By persisting in divisiveness, he cuts himself off.
It’s sad to realise that some people are simply too stubborn to give up. The wall that people put up around them is simply too high to peek over and to even see a glimpse of salvation.
It’s even more sad to realise that fellow believers and communities of faith caused some people to put up walls.
I am Facebook friends with a few guys who had worked for the church in the past. I suspect they were hurt there. They get very angry when someone just mentions the church or Christians. They laugh at the church and join others in mocking it.
My heart groans when I see that.
I wonder how many oceans of tears have God and Jesus cried for those children that turn their back on the Almighty.
Then it’s even more difficult to simply let them go. But, in the back of my mind I know that it will do no good to invite them for a coffee date. They will have a counter argument for anything I say. I know that.
I stop writing and bow my head. I pray for those Facebook pals of mine. I pray for them, because I don’t know whether anyone is praying for them. Maybe, yes, just maybe, a glimmer of light will shine through and they will see again …
I know Paul is speaking the truth here. I know there comes a time when you have to draw a line in the sand, turn around, and walk away. A time when it will be a waste of time to try and help others get pack on the road.
But he says nothing about no longer praying. I really believe in prayer. I believe in the power of God’s Spirit. I believe that God is still working here on earth through his Spirit. That’s why I keep on praying, also for those for whom I had to shake the dust off my feet, turn around and walk away …
Are there people in your life who refuse to believe?
Do you pray for them?
Do you show Jesus to them?
Father, my heart hurts for those people who turn their back on You. My tears flow for those people who laugh and mock. I am praying for them. I keep hoping for them. I keep dreaming that the lights will shine through somewhere. Amen.