No matter what faith or community you associate yourself with, you will experience rejection at some point in your life. At no point am I saying that dealing with rejection is unique to Christians; what I am saying is that Christians have been empowered uniquely to deal with rejection.
Created for relationship
God is a relational being. From the very beginning God had a relationship with humankind and created the first man and woman to live life as partners. Because we were created for relationship, the fear of rejection is based on a core part of our identity and basic needs. When we are rejected, the unspoken — and sometimes spoken — words are, “You are not enough.”
How Jesus dealt with rejection
Did you know that Jesus was rejected by His own hometown? The same ones who had seen Him grow and those who grew with Him, from a child to a man, rejected His teaching. The Bible says He went home to Nazareth and went into the synagogue and read the Scripture that was handed to Him. The problem? At the end he threw in a little ad lib.
Luke 4:20-21 (MSG) says, “He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. Then he started in, ‘You’ve just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place.’”
He was in fact claiming to be the fulfillment of the prophecy He had just read, and He didn’t stop there. He then called them out for saying, “Wait a second, isn’t this that kid from down the street? Don’t we know his dad?” Keep reading through to verse 30 and you’ll discover Jesus wasn’t just rejected; those people who knew Him as a child tried to throw Him off a mountain cliff.
Here is what we can learn from this story: Truth does not lie in who other people say you are or are not. Truth lies in who God says you are. Jesus knew who He was and what His purpose was, and the rejection of others did not negate that truth. You and I are called by God, loved by God, accepted by God. Nothing any person does or says can change that fact.
As a Christian you are never alone. This is how we deal with rejection as Christians. When we ground ourselves in the love of God and understand that we will never be alone, man’s rejection might sting but it will not destroy us!
“I’m absolutely convinced that nothing — nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable — absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us” (Romans 8:38-39 MSG).
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