One Sunday morning I was sitting on the front row at church, waiting for the service to start, when I looked down on the floor and saw several scattered piles of dirt and grass clippings. Someone had unwittingly tracked the debris into the church with their shoes. I asked a couple of people standing nearby to check their shoes for dirt, and everyone’s shoes were clean. So, I checked my own shoes and discovered that I was the culprit who had tracked dirt into “the house of the Lord.” I walked delicately to the door so as not to track more dirt, and when I got outside I stomped my feet trying to shake off the remaining debris from my shoes.

The next morning, while on my morning walk, I saw dirt and debris once again building up on the edges of my shoes and I remembered what Jesus told his disciples, “Shake the dust off of your feet” (Matthew 10:14). I got a new understanding about that scripture. You see, we go to places in life that sometimes leave a “residue” on us that has to be shaken off. When we’re surrounded by anger and arguments, when we’re confronted with bitterness, when we’re around unforgiving and jealous people, those things tend to “contaminate” our souls and pollute our spirits. If we’re not careful we will carry those things around with us and actually become unwitting culprits in spreading the negativity, simply because we were standing in it or nearby it.

When I noticed the dirt and debris on my shoes that Monday morning after my morning walk, before I entered my house, I shook the dust off my feet.  I didn’t want to scatter dirt and debris in my home. My home is my sanctuary. My home is my refuge from the world. I want it to be clean and uncontaminated. We’ve got to “shake it off” if we want to live clean lives, free from all the pollution and negativity around us. It’s that simple.

2 Corinthians 7:1
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.


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