That is a phrase I’ve heard many times in my life, especially as a child. You fall down or mess up and someone says “shake it off”. You know what it means. Don’t cry, don’t stop what you’re doing, just shake it off and keep on keeping on. I especially heard it a lot from coaches, including my Dad. Got to keep going David. Stay focused on what you’re doing. Don’t let this little thing keep you from bringing your “A-game”. Whether it was a bad hop to the chest in baseball, a nice missed layup in basketball, or a tough hit in football you gotta keep going. Most of the time it was good advice. I use the saying quite often myself these days. I guess it’s a Dad thing. Moms like to cuddle and Dads just say shake it off. I think there is a time and place for both of these reactions from parents. Today I want to remind us men that there are times we just need to shake it off!
Shake off the stumbles!
We all fall some times. We stumble or trip and hit the ground. Do we just lay there in the dirt and wallow in it or do we get up? We get up of course. Now I’m not talking about literally falling down. I’m talking about those times when we mess up. When we make a bad decision, lose our tempers, or don’t act like a born again Christian as we should. Sometimes we just need to “shake it off”. By shaking it off I don’t mean ignoring it. We need to make sure we learn from our mistakes.
Back a few years ago I was a runner, before the meniscus in my knee wore out and the Dr. told me to stop jogging (now I hike). My favorite place to run was in the woods. I loved running trails. Running there was a little more precarious and required my full attention. It also kept me from thinking about how tired I was. Many a time I forgot to pay close attention and tripped over a root or something. I’d jump up, laugh at myself, shake it off and keep going. Now I may not be the smartest man on the planet but I’m smart enough to know that if I didn’t pay closer attention I would soon trip again. So, I would watch the trail better and pick my feet up a little higher. I shook it off but I learned from my mistakes, at least for a little while. I didn’t let my stumble keep me from doing what I needed to do (get my exercise) but I did learn from it. That’s what we need to do when we stumble in life. Don’t let it drag you down. Don’t give up. Just shake it off, learn from your mistakes and keep on going.
Shake off the chains!
It seems that all too often we stumble over things that shouldn’t be able to trip us up. Those old habits that Jesus has already conquered for us. If we have new hearts why are the old behaviors still controlling us? Jesus released us from those shackles when He saved us. So then why does it feel like we’re still chained. I think it all comes down to us picking up those chains and wrapping them around us. We don’t have to, we choose to. The good news is that those chains aren’t shackled to us so we can “shake em off”. Let us not forget that:
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
Now some chains are easier to shake off than others. Sometimes, if you’ve been carrying around chains for a while, it may require a little more intense shaking. Neil Anderson’s “Bondage Breaker” is a great resource to help with that type of chain breaking.
Stirred not shaken
At what point do we stop shaking? I don’t think that we will, this side of heaven anyway. As we grow spiritually, however, we shouldn’t have to shake it off as much. Just as a child learning to walk falls less and less as he becomes a better walker, we should get better at our walk. One of the first steps is realizing that we don’t have to stumble. We have been redeemed! Bought by the blood of Jesus! Free indeed! Big Daddy Weave has a great song that speaks to this issue. It’s titled “Redeemed”. The chorus goes something like this:
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemed
Check out the entire song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzGAYNKDyIU
Words of wisdom Lloyd. So, shake it off Man of God. We need to be focused. Gotta bring our A-game if we are going to be the men God wants us to be. Let’s let the Holy Spirit stir us to be faithful in our walks. Stirred not shaken.
Still shaking it off (but not as much),