February 19, 2012

Rejection - Shunned By Man; Welcomed By God

Occasionally others share with me their experiences with rejection. Their heart-break saddens me deeply. Sometimes these stories come to me from seemingly peaceful, picture perfect, “got it together” relationships – at least from the outside. Yet on the inside, there is a different reality. This reality is where the core of heartbreak, pain and depression surfaces as a result of the lack of compassion, lack of unconditional love, lack of understanding and lack of acceptance of others.

Jesus experienced rejection. He knew the pain and the depth of feeling shunned and pushed away from society, from His own people, from family, friends and from His Disciples.

“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces, he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” (Isa.53.3, NIV)

Jesus predicted His rejection would come at the forefront of His death on the cross, yet He chose to move forward and carry the weight of it all (Luke 9:22) so that you and I would be free from the condemnation of sin, receive blessings of eternal life and the promise of an abundant life now. Through His sacrifice, we also received His approval, His mercy, His acceptance. Jesus is the ultimate authority who poured out His grace upon us. This releases anyone else’s power and authority to define us or to control us through rejection.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom.8.1) How awesome is that?

Rejecting others on the basis of their physical make-up, gender, ethnic background, their past, medical or emotional conditions, financial or social status or on anything that makes anyone uniquely their own person, is NEVER valid. God looks at the heart! God sees us as His beloved children, His creation.

“… The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1Sam16.7) That is the example we all need to follow and to pass on to the next generation.

The nature of mankind often chooses its own agenda through its own reasoning who will / will not be on their approval list, who will / will not be allowed to share in certain experiences or activities, who is / is not accepted or welcome into their midst. Sadly, this happens all the time, even in God’s Church.

Everyone has the right to his / her own opinion and to choose their company, but Jesus offers us the best example for us to follow when making those choices to receive, deny or reject another. He has given us the example of Himself. He has also given us examples in Scripture: the Good Samaritan (Luke 10) and the Woman at the Well (John 4).

Before Jesus was taken by the soldiers, He prayed for unity of all believers (John 17). If this meant so much to Jesus, and a Christian’s desire is to grow in spirit to be like Jesus, then why are so many Christians still rejecting one another? The bond we have is God’s Spirit in us. Rejecting one another is the same thing as judging. If the Holy Spirit dwells in all believers who receive Him, then who is being rejected / judged when they reject that child of God?  That precious child and the Spirit inside him / her.

Dear one, is your heart and your spirit broken as a result of rejection, or do know someone who is? Please know you are not alone. I wish I could remove all the pain and hurt this very moment, but sometimes healing is a timely process to weed out the lies and the deception and to replace it with the sweet embrace of God’s Word. The truth is you are loved. You are valuable. You are so very precious. You are accepted. God will mend your heart and dry your tears. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psa.34.18).

God knows the condition of all hearts involved, even the hearts of those who may have rejected you and the hearts of those who rejected me. Someone once said to me that hurting people hurt others. I believe that to be true in many cases. Although one’s own pain is not an excuse to hurt or reject others, it does happen. The best response to rejection is to hold on to the truths of God’s love and God’s acceptance. Allow for God shine from inside you and let the love flow to those who reject you.

Love has a way of healing the wounds of rejected hearts who choose to respond with love and the hearts of those who receive the love in return

Blessings, dear one!


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