Whoever doesn’t receive you, nor hear your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake off the dust from your feet. – Matthew 10:14
How much time, talent and treasure are you prepared to spend on a person when their eternal destination is uncertain? When is it time to stop trying and walk away, shaking the dust off your feet (or sneakers) as you leave their house?
I struggle with this because I’m an eternal optimist! I don’t believe God gives up on anyone… ever – so therefore, who am I to give up? But then I see this verse and I’m reminded that not everyone is going to accept my message. I might add, in this modern age, very few will accept it… sadly.
There’s a commercial playing on TV that reminds me of this Scripture – an advertisement for Choice Hotels:
Or there is this one – I’ll post it just as soon as I quit laughing – it’s so funny…
Just a quick note… I had that job – and I think I remember that guy picking on his toes – I think he was in the cubicle next to mine. Yeah… what a memory!
But when we are doing our best to share the gospel with others, how do we know when it’s time to stop? I often wonder if I stop too soon. Once in a while I wonder if I lingered too long, though. How do we know? I mean, this is their soul hanging in the balance – ya know? It’s important to stay long enough – but to know when to walk away.
There are entire groups of folks that I cannot even begin to talk to – they know who they are. Atheists, for example, usually don’t receive me, let alone hear what I have to say. I always leave a conversation letting them know I will pray for them. They don’t accept that either, but they can’t stop me from praying for them. When I walk away, I am not angry or discouraged. I’m sad. I pray that someone gets through – at that point it’s all I can do.
I think as long as people are open to hearing me, I’ll keep sharing my faith. It may seem like a painfully obvious answer, but I think it’s the right one. A few times I have received a sort of intercession from the Holy Spirit that lets me know I need to leave it – it’s like He’s telling me that this person is not “ready” to accept Him yet. It has only happened a few times.
I guess I just want to make sure I stay long enough. I never want to walk away too soon – but I don’t worry about it because maybe I’m not the one who is supposed to help them pray. Maybe I’m just the one to plant one of the seeds along the way. I’m sure that God knows how long I’ll stay to help and I have full confidence in Him – that He will bring the next person along to plant more seeds. That’s what we do as Christians. We plant seeds for the lost and sharpen iron with the saved. Don’t you love God’s plan? 🙂