Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rejection

Have you ever been rejected by someone? Maybe a friend, a family member, or a fellow Believer? Here is a question that we probably don't ask ourselves. Have we ever rejected someone? The point is that we all have been rejected by others at some point in our life, and possibly we have been the one doing the rejection. Regardless, rejection hurts and sometimes leaves us scratching our heads.

Paul the apostle gives an insight on how being rejected feels.

2 Timothy 4:10-18  Demas has abandoned me. He fell in love with this present world and went to the city of Thessalonica. Crescens went to the province of Galatia, and Titus went to the province of Dalmatia.  (11)  Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you. He is useful to me in my work.  (12)  I'm sending Tychicus to the city of Ephesus as my representative.  (13)  When you come, bring the warm coat I left with Carpus in the city of Troas. Also bring the scrolls and especially the parchments.  (14)  Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will pay him back for what he did.  (15)  Watch out for him. He violently opposed what we said.  (16)  At my first hearing no one stood up in my defense. Everyone abandoned me. I pray that it won't be held against them.  (17)  However, the Lord stood by me and gave me strength so that I could finish spreading the Good News for all the nations to hear. I was snatched out of a lion's mouth.  (18)  The Lord will rescue me from all harm and will take me safely to his heavenly kingdom. Glory belongs to him forever! Amen.

First, there was Demas. Demas was once a close friend of Paul. He traveled with Paul on some of his missionary journeys. Paul mentioned him in the books of Colossians and Philemon; he sent greetings from Demas to the churches in the cities. Nonetheless, Demas apparently left Paul stranded in prison and decided to go a totally opposite direction in his faith. Paul declared that Demas decided to fall in love with the world and settled down in Thessalonica. Maybe Demas became one of those people who talked bad about Paul and turned some from the Church against him.


Second, there was Alexander. He was a metal worker or copper smith. He appeared to be a convert of Paul's and probably at some point was mentored by him. Alexander did a lot of harm to Paul's ministry and to the message being preached in Ephesus. Is this not the truth? There are always people who are too caught up in themselves which cause a lot of harm to the body of Christ.  What is even worse is that people actually believe these evil beings when he or she speaks. Anyway, Paul was obviously hurt by the actions of Alexander. He warned Timothy to watch out for him. This ex-believer ended up causing much emotional harm to Paul and his ministry. Paul was upset that no one came to his defense and everyone abandoned him. Paul was not vengeful and even showed concern about their well being. Paul had to face the hurt and pain of being rejected and betrayed by those closest to him. I am sure these men thought they were doing right. They probably even thought God was on their side. I don't know and nether did Paul. Paul had to rely on the Lord for healing and for strength to endure through the pain. I promise you this. If you have been rejected; there is a God who understands your pain. He is there for you no matter what.

Personal Story:

A few years ago, I had the task of shutting down a church gone to the crapper. I was not mad at anyone nor stopped believing in them. I remember telling a close friend that once the closing was over everyone would cease to talk to us. He was shocked but not taken back when the prophetic word came to pass. Even today people I spent years with have decided to kick me off the face of the planet. Years I spent pouring into their lives. Years I spent giving up of myself and finances to help them through the pains and the sorrows. Years where I seen some fall into some pretty horrible sins but still loved them. Time I spent encouraging them to be more and to rise up in the Lord. Now I was faced with being rejected and thrown to the curb like last week's trash. Times I could have rejected them due to their sin or behavior. I did not. I showed the same Grace of God which has been shown to me. Now don't let me paint myself as a perfect picture. I am not perfect, and I have made mistakes as a leader.  However, where is the grace of God shown to me as I had shown to them. I know of one believer who has decided to talk to others about me. How sad? I pray the Lord does not hold it to his charge. Lord have mercy, please. Anyway, it is sad, and it hurts. People you were close friends with have now decided they are above your acquaintance. Just when I think I understand human behavior; my whole understanding gets flushed in the toilet. I have empathy towards Apostle Paul. I am certain that he felt the same as I. There are several places in Epistles of Paul to where he was rejected by someone he was close to. One might think. " What was wrong with Paul?" " He must have been a bad leader."  This is sometimes the case with bad leaders. They turn people away due to their sinful and obvious evil actions.

So why do people reject others? Below is a possible list and look into the pysche of  others.

1. They have been rejected in their life. Rejected people have the tendency to reject others. It is a human defensive tactic of the heart. " I'll hurt them before they hurt me."

2. People are simply selfish and evil. This is the case most of the time. People can be so self-centered which causes them to reject the good intentions of others. Most people can't see past themselves and sometimes don't realize they are rejecting others. Then some people are just plain evil. For whatever reason, the love of God has left them. I am sorry. If we say we love Jesus and treat fellow believers horribly then the Love of Christ is not in us. Wait a minute that is in the word of God!!!

1John_4:20  Whoever says, "I love God," but hates another believer is a liar. People who don't love other believers, whom they have seen, can't love God, whom they have not seen.


Why don't we take God's word seriously? Why is that we think we have the last say over God's truth? Who do we think we are?

3. People are immature and sinful. Alexander and Demas showed their immaturity and sinful hearts. They once knew the Lord but turned to a life of sin. Sin has to reject righteousness. Sin can not stand in the same room as God's righteousness. The righteousness of God sheds too much light on its actions.

4. People trust in their own self-righteousness. In other words, some think that their walk with God is so much greater than the person they are rejecting. Religion has a way of blinding the spiritual eyes of many.







So how can we overcome the pain of Rejection?


1. Realize that Jesus was rejected. If Jesus was rejected then we are going go through rejection from others as well.
2. Make sure you are not the cause of the rejections. Sometimes we give people the reason to reject us. Our sin or evil actions could very well be the cause of others departing from our presence.
3. Rest assure that God is with your during your pain and after the situation is over. He is committed to seeing his people healed.
4. Remember to stay humble and pray for those who have despitefully used you or have said all manner of evil against you.  One thing I have found to be true in my life as a believer is that God will take care of those who have wrongfully judged or rejected you. He will allow things to happen in their life to bring them to a place of repentance. He is a merciful God. The same grace I need and have is the same grace bestowed upon those who would reject us. That is why we must stay humble and pray for those people to have a change of heart.
5. Realize that God has a way of running your life better than you do. When people reject you and leave you alone, then it could be a blessing in disguise. Sometimes we don't know when to get the wrong people in our lives out. God can take care of that for us. Some people are like leeches the enemy places in your life. They latch onto you and begin sucking your life right out!  They sucked the life right out through their own selfishness and continued antics. Most leeches never stop being leeches they just find someone else to suck on.
6. Allow the rejection of others to grow you in the faith. Perilous times in the faith grow our faith exponentially. We have to allow the stone to crush us through the grace of God; so the Lord can resurrect us anew. We have to stay humble and desire not to get revenge. Repaying evil for evil never wins in the end. Use the rejection from others to keep ourselves in check. I always try to ask myself these Questions.  What could I have done differently? What role have I played in the act of rejection towards me? Who is the source of the rejection? What can I learn from this situation? What is Holy Spirit saying to me?
7. Share your experience with the  right people in your life. Surround yourself with wise men and women who are going to be honest with you and are not afraid to say you are wrong. This will help to keep you in check and ensure bitterness does not sink in.




The truth of the matter is that people are going to reject us and there are times we might reject others. Once again sometimes we have to let certain people go in our lives. We have to be careful to not allow the pain of rejection stop our grow in the Lord. We are going to be rejected but there is someone who will never reject us. His name is Jesus.



Post a Comment