Dust Off Your Sandals
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
Seems like such a contrast to be as shrewd as a snake and as innocent as a dove. Yet, that is exactly what Jesus taught us to be in the hostility of any offensive circumstance that does not welcome the truth. Just for clarity shrewd is defined as : having or showing sharp powers of judgment ; astute (accurately assess a situation or people.)
Thinking that accusations for Christians can be separate from the gleaning process to deepen our faith, is mere fallacy. We will be accused day and night by the enemy. He doesn't give up. It is a constant firing of arrows, for the enemy knows time is short (Revelation 12:10-12) So why are you surprised when accusations are thrown at you? Don't take a step back when the arrows come. If, you are taken aback, press on, move forward, climb up to take the high road. Insert whatever cliche you want here but, look deeper into the meanings of the things you have been taught. You will be tested the same as all men yet, you will be able to stand up under it. There is always a way out. That way out is to choose to trust Him, and take Him at His Word.
Why do we feel the need to justify or defend ourselves, when Christ said nothing to His accusers on the Cross. In our arrogance we think we have to prove to people we are not what they think or say, as if, our words could possibly change their perspective, when His did not. We want to be justified by our passive aggressive retaliation yet, have not even come close to resisting being attacked in our faith to the point of shedding blood.
Understand, I'm not saying don't be hurt by the things the world does, by people you love and have invested time in. What I am saying is, soften your heart to Christ. Look at Him rather than the injustice which in comparison will bring your soul back to peace in the treasure of salvation. Mourn your loss, cry it out before the throne of grace, so that you can process the pain with those who support you. Don't think for one second that somehow pushing back on resistance doesn't create consequence. If you keep coming under fire in your spiritual walk, good! The enemy sees you as a threat! You are a light in the darkness.
James 1:2-4-"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way."
Did we not see this coming for us, like it did for Christians in the first century? Have we forgotten history or simply do we not want to feel the impact of the fiery arrows and the wounds they cause? Guess, what friends! You signed up to be like Christ! So take heart, because He overcame the world. So can you.
I Peter 3:13-18 "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit."
I Peter 4:12-19-"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, if it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good."