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What to Do When You Are Rejected - Part Four
Being a Christian, we just come to expect an occasional cold shoulder or the "not-in-favor" comments from others that really don't seek the Lord as the center of their life.
But...what's not often discussed are the times we encounter Christians who choose to reject us in various ways.
The worst and most painful scenarios seem to be family or dating/courting divisions. What can be more agonizing than when actual professing Christian family members want nothing to do with you or even take legal action to reject you? What about a Christian spouse that quits and wants out when you're so dedicated and faithful? Or consider a very godly fiance that had a change of mind (and heart) and called it all off. Perhaps it was the unique "Christian someone" that for months led you, family, friends and others to believe was "in earnest", winning your trust, but then suddenly tried claiming nothing was intended by months of very personal, daily attention.
A holiday season certainly can be dampened by painful thoughts or memories of "what should or could have been," or by just the challenge of overcoming all the emotional backlash from being rejected and someone else's missing the mark. We don't gloat in other Christians' failings. Yet, experiencing rejection is often a two-sided sorrow we have to rise above: 1) the sting of their response to us and 2) the failure on their part to impart Christ in their actions.
How do we "handle" this? What is the Christian response? How do we overcome?
Continued from "Twelve Things to Do When You Are Rejected" by Rebekah L. Holt. Please Note: This article series is not written as a "fix all" nor can the authoress claim to have experienced every scenario and be an "authority" on the topic. However, the article series is written to point out scriptures and Biblical principles that God has given us that can help in time of need. In this fallen world, God doesn't always keep us from painful experiences, BUT, He gives us hope, grace, comfort and a tried and true way of handling the situation. Anytime we follow and obey God, it works.
- Give it to the Lord. Read Part One
- Go to the Bible. Read Part One
- Remember Christ was Rejected. Read Part Two
- Know that God is at Work on Your Behalf! Read Part Two
- Recall that God is Sovereign. Read Part Two
- Realize Your Identity Before God. Read Part Three
- Beware of Counterfeits for Coping! Read Part Three
8. Resist the Attitudes! The typical human response to rejection is not Christ-like! Some turn inward and refuse to “give” again. Others grow hostile, sour and resistant. Some are just indifferent, apathetic and don’t care. Either way is sinful! Christians are capable of responding sinfully to others’ wrong doings (Mt. 26:41; Gal. 6). God has told us look to Christ the Author and Finisher of our faith Who endured the cross because He knew the joy that would come (He. 12:2). Only with the Lord’s help and by sincerely surrendering to Him can we overcome the impulses of the flesh (1 Cor. 10:13). Search the scriptures for Christ’s attitude when He was rejected and model Him. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you (Phil. 4:9).
9. Be Humble. Even when we are “done dirty”, as Christians, we have a responsibility to reflect Christ in our response to the circumstance. Use this time of sorrow (or anger) over being rejected to examine yourself before the Lord. Confess to the Lord if you have sinned in this situation (1 Jn. 1:9). Ask Him to help you to overcome your weaknesses—He will stand with you and strengthen you (2 Tim. 4:17; Is. 40:29). Allow the Lord to renew your mind with His thoughts (Ro. 12:2; Ep. 4:23). It takes humility to accept that God will vindicate even when it looks like that person is “getting away with it.” It takes humility to sort out your wrong doing from the other party’s, especially when you think yours was a smaller act. Ask God to give the grace and to enable you to be humble (Phil. 4:13). God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).
10. Forgive. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Mt. 6:15).This one can be difficult! When we are innocent and the rejection comes from someone else’s sinful behavior, it’s a temptation to feel justified in nurturing wrongs. Without forgiveness, we are not following Christ’s example or commandment (Luke 23:34; Mt. 18:21-22). Forgiveness does not mean resignation or indifference. Forgiveness is a sacrifice, a denying our “right” to holding a grudge or mulling over the wrongs in our minds. We realize that in God’s sovereignty, He is All powerful to work out His will in this situation. But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Mt. 19:26). When bad thoughts come up about that person—pray for them. Simply just ask that God’s will for that person to come to pass. Shake the dust from your feet (and your mind) and move on (Luke 9:5)! But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you (Mt. 5:44). And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses (Mark 11:25).