They went out and preached that people should repent. Mark 6:12

A healthy spiritual life looks like a good story. At face value that sounds great. But if you look under the surface, all stories involve struggle. That means that a healthy spiritual life will include more than just a conversion experience. There will also be moments where there is struggle; dieing ideas, renewing, and seasons of renaissance in our souls. New insights, new challenges, and new relationships force us to change and grow. The problem with this is the fact that both we and our close relationships are not always ready for who we are becoming.

In his book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Pete Scazzero explains that our loved ones often reject us before they learn to accept the ways that we are changing. That is partly what is happening to Jesus in this passage. He is being rejected by those who think they know him. The truth is, Jesus was much more than the child they remember running the streets in their hometown. Jesus was in fact, their Savior.

When those around us reject who God is making us, we must continue to follow Jesus. That is part of what Jesus is teaching his disciples when he tells them to shake the dust off their shoes when they encounter opposition. Rejection by others does not necessarily mean we are on the wrong path. If we are seeking to follow Jesus in his way with his heart we must shake off the rejection we receive. Following Jesus changes us and not everyone will understand that, but it is worth it!

Have you ever been rejected or misunderstood for doing something good? Reflect on that. In your mind picture that rejection as dust on your shoes and then, as the great poet Taylor Swift wrote in one of her songs, “shake it off.” Remember that following Jesus is the best way to live even if others don’t understand.

By Aaron Bjorklund