Rejection: A Christian response
by Nick Bishop
Rejection is something that we all experience. It leaves us reeling and emotionally hurt, even leading to depression or worse.
History records many famous people who experienced rejection because people thought their ideas were ridiculous. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin and a plethora of other well-known figures were all rejected, but in the end, their efforts triumphed.
People also suffer rejection for many other reasons, and especially if you do not fit in with what they call the norm. This can happen at school, college, university, in employment, in a community, and sadly, sometimes even at church.
Many people bottle up their rejection and if this isn’t dealt with, it can fester and explode one day like a volcanic eruption. These eruptions happen because rejected people or groups feel the world does not understand or want them.
The modern world with its materialistic mantra of fitting in has a lot to answer for. If you do not drive the right car, have the latest fashion in clothes, the right smartphone etc you are looked on as the odd one out. So your self-esteem takes a hit, leading to feelings of being rejected, ostracised and isolated. Sadly this is true especially with young people who are bombarded with images of the latest electronic gadget.
Children from poorer backgrounds can get rejected by their peers if their parents cannot afford the latest X-Box or PlayStation. This is also true of adults if they are not in the ‘in crowd’ as it were as described in this blog. When people reject you because you do not have the right material possessions, then they are indeed, ‘fairweather friends’.
Our Lord experienced rejection being cut off from his friends, disciples and family. On the cross, as he hung there for a sinful world, even his own father turned his back on him.
No one in history has ever known rejection and defeat like Christ, yet on the third day he rose triumphantly to proclaim to the world there is hope in this life and the next. Scriptures like 2 Corinthians 12:9, John 15:18, and Luke 10:16 have something to say about this.
As Christians, it is our responsibility to help those who feel rejected and show that we care, and more importantly, that God cares.
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