In Matthew 10:11-14, we read “And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.”
Jesus sends the disciples out to the House of Israel giving them the authority to “cast out unclean spirits” and to “heal every disease and affliction” but it appears to be a conditional process: find a house which is worthy and stay there, but if they won’t listen to your words: leave.
I know these verses apply to the disciples healing and spreading news of Christ, but do they apply to our relationships, too?
Jesus tells us to trust first, but then if we are not “received” or “listened to”, we should leave. The difficult part in any relationship is knowing when to leave. I’ve spent way too much time chasing after people in my life, silently shouting, “LOOK AT ME!” I tried to get my father’s attention as a young girl and then moved on to others in my life, both friends and romantic relationships where I was the aggressive pursuer, not able to take a step back and realize that I was “chasing” after them and staying in relationships that weren’t “holy”.
Now I’m listening to Jesus’ words, nurturing relationships that are “worthy” and “shaking the dust off my feet” for all others. It’s tough to end long-term relationships, but a state of ambivalence or a feeling of unworthiness isn’t what Jesus had in mind for us. We can spend too much time with the wrong people.
I pray that you too will evaluate the relationships in your life. Are there people who you are always trying to impress and get attention from and are ambivalent in return? Do you keep thinking that if you try a little harder or are a little more perfect that they will love you? Don’t be reluctant to shake the dust from your feet and move on.
Blessings, my friend,