And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region. But the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. But they shook off the dust of their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium.
I attended a Christian High School. While I am thankful for the experience and for the guidance I received from my Christian teachers, I would have to say that the most disheartening thing about it had to be going to school with “Christian” peers. Many of my classmates were brought up in Christian homes and the Bible had, in a sense, become just another reading assignment among an endless list of textbooks and novels. So many times I would hear things like, “If I have to learn about David and Goliath one more time, I’m going to scream” and “I’m so sick of the way this school beats you in the head with the Bible.” Neither of these statements reflected the true climate of the school but the repetition had served to make the students jaded and bored with it all. Another product of this environment was that the student’s equated their education with eternal security and had no fear of the repercussions of their sin and movement away from the Lord. It seemed as if the logic was As long as I go to a Christian School and get to church every once and a while, I’ve covered the basics and don’t need to let in that creeping question of “What is salvation.” Perhaps you’re familiar with this mentality. As in the passage with the Jews and the town leaders, my classmates, who were given all opportunity to serve the Lord and honor Him with their life, were the ones most pursuant of independence and most critical of the passionate and committed.
Thankfully, I graduated and went to college where I experienced a completely different type of environment (one in which the gospel was respected for its true power and reverence for the Lord commanded a life under His guidance) and I learned that the prize waits for those who truly pursue Christ. People will always reject the Lord and take the truth of the gospel for granted; even those who have been imbued with it from their birth. I have also realize that this type of apathy is not only unacceptable but also, even more so, abominable to the Lord and I believe that sometimes we ought to “shake the dust off our feet” and move on. There is a world of 6 billion people out there and among them, are millions of people looking for the answers to life’s questions who don’t have the privilege of being raised in the truth. As with Paul, it is often times the “devout women” and the “leading men” who retract the most from the furthering of the gospel. Don’t allow the condemnation and indifference of your nominally Christian peers discourage you from being bold in your faith. In essence, shake the dirt off your feet and move on; only the Lord knows the heart.