Have you ever been rejected for any reason at all? I once heard the story of a man whose mom abandoned as a baby in a plastic bag left in a corner of a public park. Luckily, someone rescued him after two days of exposure to the weather conditions. He only learned about his story of rejection and rescue when the woman who adopted him was dying.
Rejection could be a very painful experience that involves abandonment, denial of benefits, or the feeling of being unwanted. The Acts of the Apostles (4:8-12) relates Peter’s testimony about the power of the risen Lord in the healing of a disabled person.
Peter let the authorities and the elders know that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the stone they, the builders rejected, that has become the cornerstone as it is written in the book of Psalm (118:22-23). How was Jesus Christ rejected? In every way, from his infancy up to his death on the cross.
We could recall that after Herod learned about the new-born King, he was troubled and called for the massacre of all the kids in the region from two years down (Matt.2:16). Jesus was rejected in his hometown Nazareth; in fact, they tried to kill him (Luke 4:16-30).
For economic reasons, the city of Gadarene rejected Jesus after the cure of a demoniac. Remember also that the disciples abandoned him after his arrest (Mark 14:50). Jesus even predicted that the Son of man would endure many sufferings and be rejected by that generation.
Dealing with Rejection in Life
If people could reject Jesus at various points during his earthly life, what would make you think that anything could save you from rejection in the world? You may not plan for it, but it could come in a relationship you cherish, in your job, your neighborhood, and even in your faith community or church.
Rejection is unavoidable, so praying against it is senseless. What is important is how to deal with it, and we can find the perfect example of dealing with rejection from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Do not Reject Yourself: Self-rejection is the worst kind of rejection; in fact, it is a bad choice. Sometimes we allow people to define us when we adopt their feelings and perceptions about us. Nobody has a right to define you but God, who formed your being and knows you more than anyone else.
Understand that people will reject you because they cannot be like you nor withstand what you carry. Recall that the major people who rejected Jesus were the authorities of the time, the political and social builders who could not compete with the excellence in the Lord.
Furthermore, people will reject you because of their ignorance; if they know better, they will act better. Imagine, the “builders” of the time did not recognize that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone; hence they rejected him. Every building depends on the cornerstone for alignment and good structure. Remember that Jesus said, “Cut off from me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Do not lose your Purpose: Your purpose explains why you are here on earth. God created everyone with a purpose that means your life is not an accident or mere chance. Rejection does not destroy your purpose; in fact, it could even reveal it. Some rejections turn out to be elevations.
Going back to the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, we discover that the rejections he faced did not diminish his purpose, leading us to redemption as the Good Shepherd. Often in life, we lose our focus because of what people are saying or doing to us.
Most people could not attain their laudable goals and aspirations because they paid attention to people instead of focusing on their purpose. Our Lord Jesus Christ paid attention to what the Father desires, not what the people want. He says, “my food is to do the will of my Father and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34); that is purpose right there.
If God has not rejected you, it does not matter if the whole world rejects you; you will still be fine. Psalm 27:10 says: “Father and mother may abandon you, but the Lord will take you up.” God will never forget you because your name is written on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:15-16).
The challenge now is to follow the Good Shepherd, not the politically correct shepherds of our world today who will reject and abandon us when danger comes. In the Gospel of John (10: 11-18), Jesus tells us that he is the Good Shepherd who cares for the sheep with strong ownership dedication to the point of death, and that is what he accomplished for us on the cross. We belong to the Good Shepherd, and he loves us with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3) and will never reject us.
God bless you and have a glorious week ahead.