Guest Post: Letting Go and Leaving Behind


A Note from Cheryl: Last summer, I went directly from teaching middle schoolers fulltime to being in a 7 week long, 7 class summer intensive program to propel me to the next stage of earning my professional teaching certification in Florida. This summer, I’m re-discovering what it means to HAVE a summer. Thank you for your support and interest in my blog.

Today I’m providing you with a summer treat – a refreshing guest post by a dear friend of mine named Darlene Curtiss. What she wrote during her personal Bible study time will probably encourage you to consider if there’s any “dust shaking” that needs to occur in your life.  I believe that you, too, will know your time has been well spent by reading what Darlene has to say. 

After reading, please consider leaving a comment to let me know you know stopped by. If you’d like to be notified by email as I update (usually on Thursdays), please click the follow button on the right side of your screen beneath my archives.

And now, please welcome a morning musing from my friend.

If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. Matthew 10:14

But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate. Mark 6:11


I have always thought of these verses as an act of anger or disgust.

In fact, they teach that it is OK to “shake the dust” from yourself and walk away when relationships or situations are ungodly and/or toxic. “Shaking” is the intentional act of letting go of these relationships or situations where we are unable to promote God’s will. They include times where we feel bound or pulled down. The dust is symbolic of leaving those relationships or situations behind because they bog us down and pull us away from God.

When we are not welcomed as followers of Jesus Christ, the situation or relationship may be such that we need to intentionally shake it off , leave it behind or set it aside – for now. The circumstances may be ones  in which you can do no good for anyone, including yourself. You may be trying so hard to please someone else and make your own heart feel better, you forget what really matters most – God’s will.

This is not a letting go of loving and praying for those involved; it is an intentional stepping aside to let God do HIS work if those involved will open their hearts to consider Him. In the meantime, we can refocus ourselves on the tasks God lays before us. When these people are very close to us – emotionally and perhaps even physically, it can be very difficult to realize we cannot, at this time, make a difference no matter what we say or do.

It’s a lesson from God in time management.

If the person is not following Christ and refuses to hear God’s truth, set the situation aside while you see and work on God’s next for you. He may return you to the relationship or situation and if so, the time will be right.

Discernment is crucial. It involves listening to God and knowing what steps He wants you to take. In your heart, you will know when change has occurred.

God wants us to be joyful in the work we do for Him. Sometimes it means “shaking the dust” off ourselves and choosing to go forward. If God gives you the go-ahead to go back, you’ll be rested and even more resolved to do His will.

About the Author: Darlene Curtiss is a follower of Jesus Christ, an administrative assistant professional, wife, mom, grandmother and great-grandmother who lives in Jacksonville, Florida. She shares home with her husband of 40+ years and 2 much loved (and spoiled) cats.


16 thoughts on “Guest Post: Letting Go and Leaving Behind

  1. Lisa Sheridan

    Wow! What a great message from Darlene! And, of course, a message received right on time in my life. I’m also forwarding to my sister as she is facing a separation in a 20+ year relationship. Thank you for sharing Darlene’s message. 🙂


    • Lisa:

      Thank you for sharing the post. God is so practical and I am thankful He uses words to help us understand how much He loves us. Please tell your sister I will be praying for her during this transition.


      • Darlene

        If Lisa’s sister or anyone else is helped by this message, then God’s timing is again shinig through! Prayers for Lisa’s sister.


  2. Ronny McCaskill

    I once had a Psychiatrist, with whom I worked, that gave me something to chew on. He said, “If you tell someone (a patient) something before they are ready to receive it, two things will happen. One, they will not receive it; and second, they will resent the heck out of you. Wise is it to know when to speak and when to shake the dust.


    • Thanks for your comment! It amazes me that we are so relieved to realize that we have a choice. I think we operate so automatically sometimes that we bypass the very choices that could free us to do and be what God wants while freeing others to be in a place where they choose God or not.


  3. Bettie Kirkhart

    “Shaking off the dust” is certainly a good way to describe what it means to let go of things that you cannot fix or change and move on to things that you may be able to make a difference with. Thank you Darlene for your sentiments and words of wisdom, and thank you Cheryl for sharing it with others.
    I have been friends with Darlene for 40+years and she is a very special person.


  4. Sheila Clardy

    God is doing a work in each of us through the Holy Spirit. The lessons He teaches us make serving Him easier as we lean on His wisdom.The joy we learn is how lessons taught us become a blessing to others. Thanks for sharing His work in you and the hope of His timing.
    I’ve known Darlene from a distance for over 40 years and it is wonderful to hear how God is making Himself known to her.


    • Sheila: Thank you for visiting and commenting. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit and its work. Most of my “growing up years” did not include much conversation about the Holy Spirit. I know now though that the Spirit is vital and his lessons, imperative!


      • Darlene

        Shelia’s faithfulness is another life lesson God has placed in my life,
        and I am so grateful for her friendship.


  5. Jim Richardson

    I was blessed by the deep insight into God’s word. She took an obscure passage and brought it into the light for me. Thanks.


    • Hi, Jim:

      Thanks for your visit and comment. One of the coolest things to me is when we re-read and re-read scripture only one day to find elements of teaching and direction that were not clear to us before. I am thankful for Darlene’s faithfulness to write AND share what God told her. It certainly has helped me!


      • Darlene

        Jim, Thank you. I am going forward on that path your Mom and Dad started me on. It is not always easy, but it surely is joyful!! I am so thankful for my family and friends.


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