I was reading in Luke 10 the other day. Jesus had gathered his disciples together to offer some instructions before sending them out. I was struck by this in particular:
“Once you enter a house, speak to the people there and say,
‘God’s blessing of peace be upon this house!’
If a lover of peace resides there, your peace will rest upon that household.
But if you are rejected, your blessing of peace will come back upon you.”
The peace is offered, but if refused, it does not rest on the one to whom it was offered, it comes back on the giver.
Here’s what I noticed, we can choose to refuse what others would place on us. We can, in effect, return it to them. Return to sender.
Jesus was telling his disciples this might happen to them. Some people would not want the peace they were offering. No worries, Jesus said, it will just come back to you. Move along, now.
But I began thinking about the people that arrive on the doorsteps of our lives carrying all kinds of other things they’d like to off-load onto us. Things like judgement, anger, blame, accusations or expectations. Things that maybe we receive when they aren’t ours to carry. Heavy burdens of shame or rule-keeping, shoulds, oughts, or out-right lies. Or possibly the all-too-tempting crowns of power or prestige.
And did you know you could say no thank you? That you could close the door? That you could choose to refuse and not allow those things to rest upon your precious head? They are not yours, dear, return to sender.
That said, there are things we refuse that are meant for our healing, like the peace the disciples were offering. Sometimes friends, strangers, or God-in-flesh come along holding out mercy, grace, forgiveness, love, joy, or peace … and we choose to refuse. We don’t deserve them, we say, as we sadly turn away.
We are human after all.
Friend, choose wisely what you allow to rest upon your head. Know that you can choose to refuse. But know also, you can bend that beautiful head just slightly to receive a crown of compassion and love that looks simply marvelous on you!!
“Praise the Lord, O my soul …
Who crowns you lavishly with lovingkindness and tender mercy;”
Choose to Refuse (or receive), but choose wisely: Our Little Life Words of the week.
- What is held out to you that is not yours to take? What do you need to choose to refuse?
- Is it difficult for you to receive love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, peace, comfort or joy? If so, why?
- Each morning, bend your head before God, asking Him to crown you with love and compassion.
- Make a paper crown (or pick one up at Burger King). Write on it one word you need to receive (ie: forgiveness, peace). Put the crown on each morning as an act of receiving. Or do this for someone else as a gift.
- Offer to others what heals instead of harms.
- Our song of the week is none other than Shake it Off by Taylor Swift. The link is to a video of a policeman singing, as caught on his dashcam. Afterall, a little humor might do us all good. Be sure to sing along with the chorus!
- Sit quietly before God. Ask Him to remove from your beloved head anything that harms and to crown you with all that heals. Then let Him.
Toward the end of His life on earth, Jesus did as He had instructed his disciples. He stood before them with peace in hand. “Peace I leave with you,” He said, “My perfect peace I give to you.” John 14:27
Peace be with you, dear one.