Monday, October 27, 2008

Rejection (Part 3)

This is the final blog in the trilogy about the subject of rejection. And, happily, this is also the best of the three because this blog talks about the healing that we can receive after rejection. We don’t have to carry the pain forever!!

Beth Moore cites 1 Peter 2:4-10 and how we who are rejected by men are CHOSEN by God. Just as Jesus was rejected and killed by HIS OWN CREATION, we too can expect to be rejected by our own brothers and sisters. And, just as Beth pointed out, when we are rejected, they are rejecting HIM more than they are US. HE lives IN us (Luke 6:22, Luke 10:16). It’s because of this fact that I have learned not to take rejection personally anymore. I’ve realized (specifically within the last year) that it is GOD they are TRULY offending and rejecting (though, of course, I am saddened and upset when people reject my Savior). God will have His say about the ones who reject Him. I like how Beth brought up 1 Samuel 8:7 where God says: “…Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.” Therefore, I won’t get all worked up about someone’s opinions, judgments, condemnation, or rejection of me; because it‘s truly not about “me.” Any time I start to forget, the Holy Spirit reminds and assures me, “It’s not about you, Melissa.” Praise God for that!! It’s all about HIM!

Furthermore, Beth described both the sovereignty and supremacy of God. He is Lord of all things and all situations. He both permits and restrains what He wills, and it’s ALL for our good and because He loves us!! In fact, sometimes, rejection is a blessing! She asked if any of us could look back at a time where we were rejected and realize, now, that it was the best thing that could have happened. She said it likely didn’t feel good at the time, and we hated it more than anything, but it was for our benefit. Case and point with an old boyfriend or girlfriend. We may have thought that they were right for us, but looking back, we see just how wrong that relationship was for us! She said that sometimes, God allows that door to slam shut in our face for our own good!! I can’t count the number of times that God shut doors for me and spared me so much anguish! I didn’t see it at the time, but I see it NOW as I look back! One such example was when Mitch and I were dead set on purchasing a certain house. It had a big yard and Mitch’s “dream garage” (what is it with men and garages?! LOL). Everything was great on the outside, but the inside was small and had a few problems; including a bit of water in the basement. However, we REALLY wanted the house. We made one or two offers, and the sellers wouldn’t accept them; we were REJECTED! It was frustrating, but later on, we found the house that we live in now, and it was clearly better that the other house (and our offer was ACCEPTED)!! It may not be the greatest on the outside, but it’s WONDERFUL on the inside (and the insides are what count most anyways - Matthew 23:25-26). Also, we found out later that the house we wanted so badly was filled with toxic mold!! PRAISE YOU JESUS FOR SHUTTING THAT DOOR!!!!

There are many times we don’t understand the “doors” in our lives. Some are open and some are closed. And, other times, doors that were once open become shut (and vice versa). Beth said sometimes, you have rejection on one hand so you can have reconciliation on the other. Perhaps the rejection of a friend, spouse, relative, etc. opens the door for reconciliation between you and another person to reconcile who previously kept their distance because of the relationship you had with the one who rejected you. The scenarios are endless, but there is a purpose for all of them!

Speaking of reconciliation, that was the subject of discussion after we watched the Beth Moore video. The church counselor emphasized that reconciliation isn’t always necessary or wise in all situations. There are cases in which relationships are so toxic and unhealthy that reconciliation should not be made (such as in cases of abuse - whatever form that may take; physical, sexual, mental, emotional, verbal, etc.). Also, it is wiser to peaceably part ways if the relationship in question is causing division, strife, dissension, quarrels, etc. (Proverbs 15:18, Proverbs 22:24, Romans 16:17-18, 2 Timothy 2:23, Titus 3:10). We are to make every effort to live at peace with each other (Romans 12:18) and sometimes, peace can only occur if ties are broken (whether temporarily or permanently as the Spirit leads). One must learn to let go of control and let God handle those who have a hard time getting along with others and cannot refrain from stirring up drama and conflict. No one can control or change another person, and it’s important to know when to step aside and let the Holy Spirit take over so the person can learn, grow, and experience change and healing in their heart (something only God can do and we got to know when to stop interfering and hindering that process and be obedient in stepping aside). Yes, it’s difficult (especially if it’s a family member or someone you are really close to) but REAL Agape love that comes from the Holy Spirit will enable you to do what’s right; even when it’s difficult and painful.

Needless to say, of course, there SHOULD be forgiveness regardless if you’re reconciled or not (for the sake of your own heart more than anything). Unforgiveness is poisonous and will imprison and enslave you. There’s no peace and joy in that, and it only serves as a gateway to other fruits of the sinful nature like bitterness, anger, hatred, etc. Those fruits are the perfect example of the negative effects of rejection, if undealt with, and how that “vacancy” (as mentioned in the previous blog) can cause us to invite unpleasant elements into our lives that should never be welcomed! Or, maybe even worse, we invite in what would ordinarily be a good thing only to become too dependent on the fulfillment that we THINK we’ll get from it (more food, money, clothes, a new job, new friends, new love interest, new baby, etc.). Those things are “good” but they don’t address the heart of the issue - only Jesus can heal, fill, and fulfill the void(s) in your heart! I should know, every one of those “good things” served as a solution to my “vacancy” at some point or another in my life - but did NOT satisfy beyond a temporary high. Having too much of a “good thing” will be your downfall if it becomes an idol and is elevated above God! God doesn’t like the competition (Exodus 20:5). Hopefully, you won’t have to have a humbling and painful wake-up call in some way or another in order to realize that. God may allow you to lose that which you hold dear in order to help you re-adjust your focus (case and point, the current economy crisis. Be careful who/what you put your hope in! We‘ll reap what we sow, America!!!).

One final note that Beth Moore concluded with was something that really touched my heart. It was the fact that in 1 Corinthians 13:8, Paul assures us that “love never fails.” Isn’t that glorious?! Beth said that the Greek transliteration for that is ekpipto which means “to drop away,…to fall (away, off).” In other words, she said, it doesn’t drop to the ground. One way or another, the “fruit” (love) you offer and invest in people is accepted. It’s not all for nothing!! If they reject it, God catches that “fruit” before it hits the ground. HE accepts it! GOD is love, and Isaiah 55:11 tells us that His Word won’t return to Him void and empty!

I pray that these words have blessed you as much as it has blessed me! I am overjoyed at knowing that the love of Christ that I share with people NEVER falls to the ground! My efforts are never wasted; even if they aren’t accepted by the recipient. Also, Beth said that if we didn’t know the pain of rejection, we wouldn’t know the joy of acceptance! If the “failed” love of others had never failed at all, how would we appreciate the UNFAILING LOVE of God? Those are some powerful thoughts! I pray that they will be as precious to you as they are to me!! Cling to the fact that there is ONE who never fails! I may fail you, and others may fail you (though it surely is never my intent….but be prepared! I am human and I do make mistakes!) but God never will! Thank goodness!!

Grace and peace to all of you! I pray that all of us may rejoice in the joy of acceptance rather than the rejections of our past. Here’s to hoping that we all have our “rejection tinted sunglasses” off and that we will be blessed with healing, joy, forgiveness, and peace!! God bless you all!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you for posting this. i recently had my first encounter with rejection in all the scenarios including allowing/inviting things I never thought I would ever think as well as doing things I would have never otherwise thought to do just to get back at someone. I realize now, it's because I did not cling to the Truth / the Word of God as I should have when I began feeling the emotional pains of being rejected, now I am paying the price of my own actions because of being rejected. I think because I sinned it has hurt me more than the rejection itself and I am certainly paying the price for it. I just can't believe that I would stoop so low when I knew better to just let go and let God handle that person. And get this. When God lifted me out of the situation I couldn't even enjoy the victory valiantly because I had stuck my hand in and now I am bittersweet about it. I see the promises of God and his favor but i can't rejoice as I ought to or thought I would because I failed, i failed myself and God. I try to come to terms that maybe God is showing me that He will bless me even when I don't deserve it, even in my filth God is still God, and that there isn't anything I can do to deserve it. I don't know. One thing for sure, is that God revealed that I can be so hurt and that there are hidden things in my heart that needed to be revealed that I am capable of doing and I need to repent and keep trusting God still. I have not read beth moore books, but everything you wrote was exactly everything I am going through every scenario. For me, there was no reconciliation with this sister. But it was my fault (i think), I kind of felt the nudge to no longer email her my devotionals anymore because I knew the relationship was toxic, but I sent it anyway because I thought that I still needed to be Christlike and inclusive and extend the olive branch of peace and love but in the end, her last and final act of rejection of me--she asked me to remove her from my contact list and to no longer receive any emails from me. (devotionals)