You know the scene. It is in the middle of the day. The children are out to play on the playground. They choose team members to play the game. One by one everyone is picked until it comes down to the last person. By now this lonely person really doesn’t want to play because they were the last to be chosen. The reject! The one no one wants.
Rejection! We’ve all experienced it. Not getting that promotion we were anticipating. Or not getting the job you interviewed for and someone you know did. We all want to be valued and accepted. Being valued is a natural human desire. When we don’t feel valued we tend to draw back and isolate ourselves. Maybe you have been rejected from a friend, or relative. How about wanting to go out with somebody and they said, “No!”
The definition of rejection is: “Dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste, or to satisfy one’s taste. To refuse to accept, consider, submit to, take for some purpose, or use. To refuse to hear, receive, or admit.”
I don’t know about you, but I have experienced many times the definition of rejection. When it happens, it’s easy to think you did something wrong or that there is something wrong with you. Most of the time this is not the case. But, the enemy will try and make us feel bad about ourselves, or bad about our life after we have been rejected.
Rejection hurts. God is bigger than the rejection we have received. I am here today to let you know there is hope after rejection. We can allow the “sting” of being rejected to torment and alienate us, or we can be determined to rise above those who rejected us and keep on keeping on with our life.
Jesus knew first hand what it felt like to be rejected. Many times the religious rulers of His day rejected what He had to say, or even rejected Who He was. They were unwilling and refused to accept His teachings because they liked being in control of the people. They didn’t think He was the “Messiah.” Jesus’ taught about mercy and grace and the religious rulers were legalistic.
How many times Jesus endured scrutiny from the Pharisees and Sadducees. They even tried to “trip” Jesus up with His answers, but again, Jesus knew what was in their hearts.
I wish I could say I acted or reacted in a godly manner after experiencing rejection in my own personal life. There were times I did, and times I didn’t. But I have learned several things about rejection, that I pray, will help you to deal with it and overcome any negative affects it brings.
We can learn so much on how to deal with rejection by watching Jesus’ reaction.
Dealing With Rejection
1. Keep walking boldly!
Luke 6:28 – 30 NKJV
“So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath (rage), and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.”
Jesus knew what was in the religious rulers heart’s. He spoke the truth with authority. They took Jesus out of the synagogue and out of the city to a high hill and wanted to push him over the edge. Jesus, turns, and walks boldly through the crowd and continues on with His ministry.
People will reject out of fear. It shows their insecurities within themselves when they reject you.
The religious leaders rejected Jesus because they were afraid. Afraid of losing their position. Afraid that the people will turn from their leadership and follow truth, which Jesus represented, and oozed out with. People already thronged Jesus. Fear makes people do crazy rejectful, brutal things.
Truth is power. The religious rulers saw truth in Jesus and they had to destroy Him.
2. Shake the dust off your feet!
Read Mark 6:1 – 13
Mark 6:11 NKJV
“And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.”
There have been times when I have had to shake the dust off my feet when I was rejected, and some of those places were in a Christian church, with Christian people.
There will be people who will be offended by the truth you represent. They will harden their hearts towards you and kick you out of their group or organization. I’ve heard it said, “Go where you are celebrated!” There is some truth to that because it is extremely hard to stay somewhere where the people are constantly rejecting you. Jesus said to shake the dust off of your sandals and to move on. Do what you can there, but move on and keep your head held high! People are not rejecting you, but rejecting God. To a degree, it is Christian persecution to have fellow Christians kick you out of their “club.” This is what happened to Jesus many times.
3. Don’t get offended!
Luke 17:1 (HCSB)
“Offenses will certainly come, but woe to the one they come through!”
We have to get elephant skin when it comes to speaking the truth and not being received. People hurt people. As long as you are around people, you will have the chance to get offended.
Scriptures tell us “Offenses will come” (Luke 17:1). We will always be tempted to be offended. Our expectations weren’t met, or someone hurt us or rejected us. You might have said things like, “How can they treat me like this?” or “I was a part of them for years and look how they treat me!” They will call you names, slander you, and want you gone. They will ignore your true worth in Christ and reject you because of the truth you represent. This happened to Jesus. He was known as the “Carpenter’s Son.”
Mark 6:3 NKJV
Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.
They rejected Jesus because they only saw Him as the Carpenter’s Son. They put Jesus in a box in their minds. They knew His family. They saw Him grow up and become a man. God was raising Him up, but they refused to accept Who He was called to be.
When you have a heart for God you will be rejected. You might even be rejected by those close to you. Even if you are not a minister, you will experience rejection. But let me tell you; Once you meet Christ you are a minister! Your life is a sermon that everyone reads.
Jesus was rejected and even mocked while He was hanging on the cross. As if what they did to him was not enough. After being beaten and whipped, after the crown of thorns were pushed on His head and imbedded into his brow, after his hands and feet were nailed to the cross, after He was mutilated beyond recognition, they mocked Him.
Mark 15:29 – 32 (NKJV)
“And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.”
They were sarcastically mocking Christ while He was hanging on the cross. Who does that? Who kicks people when they are “already down?” Those who are full of themselves and think they are right. Those who want their way and arrogantly assume they deserve it. That’s who! They thought they were sitting in the driver seat. Little did they know God used them to bring forth Salvation to the world.
It was even prophesied in the Old Testament that Jesus would be despised and rejected.
Isaiah 53:3 – 5 KJV
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
I don’t think anyone of us have experienced all that Jesus experienced, in our entire lifetime, what he experienced in just a few hours. Still, when we experience rejection its sting hangs with us.
Like I said earlier, there is hope. Not only can you be healed from any sting of rejection, but there are other promises you can stand on when dealing with rejection.
1. You will be vindicated!
Psalm 35:24 NKJV
“Vindicate me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness; And let them not rejoice over me.”
God hears our cry and sees all. God knows what is in a man’s heart. He knows what is in your heart. He knows everyone’s motives. If there is injustice, God will repay. He is a just God.
There are times we are rejected for walking justly. Again, God will vindicate you.
Psalm 26:1 NKJV
“Vindicate me, O LORD, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the LORD; I shall not slip.”
Psalm 43:1 NKJV
“Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!”
If there is injustice, it will only last for a season and God will deliver you from the deceitful injustice.
Jesus was vindicated. He didn’t stay on the cross or in the tomb. He was resurrected. No man, no matter how much power they think they had, couldn’t keep Jesus from raising from the dead.
2. You will be promoted.
Psalm 23:5a NKJV
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
People will be surprised at your promotion. It will go against what they thought of you. They rejected you because they didn’t agree with who they thought you were. They will see you resurrected. They will see you doing things and walking in ways they never imagined. What are you going to do when this happens? Rejoice! It will happen!
3. You will be transformed.
Walking out of rejection and leaning on your beloved, you will be more like Him. We lean on Jesus and connect to His rejection immediately when we are rejected and treated unfairly.
To know Christ in His resurrection and suffering, we have to experience a death. When we die to ourselves and our flesh, we allow Christ to increase in us. It really is a win – win situation. We win when we lose. We lose our flesh and we gain a changed perspective. Treated unfairly is exactly what Christ went through.
All this said, God is keeping score and He will pay you back with heavenly blessings for the scourge you have received from your enemies. The rejection we have received from others simply open our hearts to receive more of the anointing into our lives. We will be eating a feast of His power and presence while our enemies look on, unable to understand why we have been chosen to receive such blessing. Little did they know it was their reproach against us that made us a target for God’s blessing. It was their betrayal that brought God’s best blessings to our doorstep!
Walk as Jesus walked and hold your head up high knowing you are God’s child and He has great plans for you.
Maybe you have experienced rejection and long to be healed of its sting. Bring this to the Lord and humbly ask God to heal you, and transform the way you think and act. Your perspective needs to change and view any rejection as being “set up” for greater things. You are being positioned for promotion and blessing!
Pastor Kris Belfils