So they shook the dust from their feet as a sign of rejection and went to the town of Iconium. Acts 13:51 (NLT)
I’m a people pleaser by nature. It’s the personality God gave me. It can be a real strength as I am generally good at building bridges, rapport and relationships. I don’t like to offend others or anger people and avoid doing so. At the same time, the strengths of every personality type have their corollary weaknesses. In my personal journey I’ve learned that I must constantly be mindful not to allow my pleasing nature to transform me into a door mat for others to walk over. In addition, I have to guard my heart against feelings of hurt and rejection when others don’t like me or what I believe, think, or say.
Our journey through the stories of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the early experiences of His followers remind me that matters of spiritual truth, by their very nature, create conflict. It can be easily argued that Jesus, in His three years of public teaching, was the source of as much conflict as healing. When Jesus sent out the twelve He told them to expect rejection, and He instructed them to “shake the dust off” when it occurred.
As a pleaser, it’s a good reminder for me that not everyone is going to like or appreciate me, my beliefs, my thoughts, my word, or my choices. Some, in fact, have openly despised me. Because of my personality, it tends to bother me a great deal. “Shaking the dust off your feet” is a great word picture. It means letting go of rejection. It’s a reminder not to let the emotional residue of rejection build up on the soul, nor carry it with us wherever we go.