When Jesus sent the disciples out to spread the gospel message, he told them that they were to begin with the standard greeting of their time: Peace be unto you. Those words of welcome had become as their prayer. The disciples were asking the peace of God to rest on every person they met. Everywhere they went, they prayed that God’s Kingdom was available to each one.
“As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” (Matthew 10:12-14, NIV)
I find it interesting that they were given permission to receive that peace back. The disciples were to offer the Kingdom to all but were not held accountable for the actions of others. No one wants to bless inappropriate behavior, but that wasn’t a judgment call for the disciples to make. Offer God’s peace to everyone, then allow God to determine who benefits from the blessing. If a household was deemed unworthy by God, then “no harm – no foul” on the disciples’ part. The blessing would be returned to them.
Matthew Henry wrote: “It becomes us to judge charitably of all, to pray heartily for all, and to conduct ourselves courteously to all, for that is our part, and then to leave it with God to determine what effect it shall have upon them, for that is his part.”
How about that? Treat others well, and then trust God for anything further. That concept works. Just as the directive was given a couple of thousand years ago, it works really well in today’s climate, too. I can’t change people’s hearts; Jesus never delegated his authority in that way. Jesus simply sends his people out to tell others about the Love of God. If folks listen, great. If not, move along. God’s got this.