Not everybody gets you. Not everybody likes you. Not everyone will agree with you or be on your side.

Are you going to let that get you all upset and steal your joy? Even worse, are you going to let that cause you to lash out and fight back, then cause you to show up as a lesser version of who you were created to be?

In my head, I’m a pretty darn nice person. I know the intentions of my heart are good. I’m also fully aware that I’m flawed and imperfect and screw up on the regular. People often remind me of that by email. I literally have a team of people who scan my emails before they reach me because some messages are a little too harsh for my naive, rose glasses mindset that thinks everyone is my friend with pure motives.

These messages used to rock my world and leave me in tears. I would allow the criticism to replay in my mind for days, hurting me a little more with each replay. Then, it accumulated in my heart and began to steal my joy and make me cynical. The notification of an email from a stranger sent fear through my veins, automatically assuming someone else had something hurtful to say to me. I assumed the position of a victim, forfeiting my calling as a woman with a divine mission.

As my joy lessened, my passion for living out my purpose wavered. It honestly felt not worth it.

Maybe you feel the same way. You feel misunderstood. Under appreciated. Under attack.

Girl, let me call you out of that victim mindset. That’s not where God wants his girls to hang out! You have a calling on your life and a divine mission for your days. Don’t you forfeit an ounce of what God has placed within you because you can’t win everyone over.

A few years ago Taylor Swift wrote a song that became the anthem of every girl going through a time of discouragement. I’m warning you right now of the earworm I’m about to throw at you.

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off (hoo-hoo-hoo)
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off (hoo-hoo-hoo)

Yes, that’s an earworm, also known as the stuck song syndrome. Like it or not, the same lyrics just get stuck in your head. But did you know there’s a way to end the stuck song in your head? Yes there is, and you won’t believe the trick.

To make the song you can’t stop singing get out of your head, you simply play the song all the way through. Yes, let it play and let it end. It gets stuck when you leave it unfinished.

Ahhhhh, I wonder if that’s what happens with harmful words and hateful emails. You never let it end. So it replays, hurting you a little more each time. Growing bigger and bigger. And guess what, Sis, you’re the one who has to end it. End the loop of replayed harmful words and actions with your intentional response of grace led by the Holy Spirit.

Here’s the example in scripture.

Acts 13, Paul and Barnabas are in Antioch spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Their intentions were good. Their message was positive. Yet, not everyone liked it. Not everyone wanting the saving grace they came to share. I know that’s crazy, but not everyone wants or accepts good news, even when it is absolutely true. The people stirred up all kinds of crazy nonsense against Paul and Barnabas. And verse 51 and 52 show us their response and the result. “But Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”

They literally shook it off. Hey Taylor, is that where you got your catchy little song? Yes, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off!

Paul and Barnabas were disliked and unjustly under attack, and their actions stopped the continuation of the nonsense and secured their joy. They never lost their joy in the nonsense.

Girl, don’t lose your joy in the nonsense. People gonna say what people gonna say. Liars gonna lie … that’s just what liars do. Why would you be so shocked? Haven’t you heard that hurt people hurt people. We’re surrounded by a whole bunch of hurting people and the only thing they know to do is lash out and hurt someone else because of the hurt they feel.

But, as God’s girls, we can stop it.

Just as you let the song play all the way through to stop the earworm of annoying continuance, you play this all the way through. You shake off the insults and you move on. Respond with grace and love, wish them well, and let that be it.

Shake it off.
Move on.

Jesus tells his disciples to shake the dust from their feet when people reject them. He’s telling them to recognize they had done all they could do and the results were never up to them. Leave even the dust behind so you are not hindered from where God is taking you next.

The enemy wants us to collect the dust. Wallow in the dirt.

God says, “Shake it off and move on.”

Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet from where the nonsense had raged against them, and they went to the next place. Thank you, next. (I think that’s another song, now the previous song isn’t even in your head. See how that worked.)

What did the disciples receive when they shook it off and moved on? They were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit!

The Message translation says it like this: “They shrugged their shoulders and went on to the next town, brimming with joy and the Holy Spirit, two happy disciples.”

Trying to figure everything out and get everyone to see things like you see them is 1) Exhausting, and 2) Impossible. God isn’t asking you to convince anyone of anything. The Holy Spirit does the convincing, not you.

Shrugging our shoulders says, “Hmmmm, well that’s interesting … whatcha gonna do? It’s not for me to control.” Then, release it and move on. It finishes the song. It ends the earworm. It stops the replay of the offense and releases you of the hurt.

When we stop being hurt and instead start being healed, you know what we bring to the world? We bring healing. Hurt people hurt people. But healed people heal people.

God wants his girls healed from all the hurt so we can bring healing to others. Healing from criticism. Healing from unfairness. Healing from nonsense. Healing from trying to convince anyone of anything.

Ahhhhhh, shake it off, move on, and let your joy overflow!

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