Jan. 26, 2017

Fear of Rejection

Someone gave me a book for Christmas that focuses on rebuilding. The book covers the need that stems from a devastating loss or upset. Rebuilding is required to meet that need and to move on.

Rebuilding is harder than recovering. Typically, recovering means we take what once existed and find healing in an alternate state of being. Rebuilding requires us to sort through the rubble of what was destroyed and find it within ourselves (with the help of the Holy Spirit) to erect something brand new; something even better than what was before.

One of the exercises in the book asks the reader to meditate on what we see as our personal weaknesses. Notice I said, “Weaknesses,” PLURAL. We all sin and we all have shortcomings. The key to rebuilding is to find our weak points and to fortify our ability to be spiritually transformed into something much bigger and much better. Once our weaknesses are revealed, we are ready to rebuild by using this spiritual insight knowing that change is inevitable and change produces growth.

As I made my list of weaknesses, I became keenly aware that I suffer from the fear of rejection. Wow. I don’t think I ever knew that about myself. I realize I grew up and spent most of my life trying to please people, but I don’t think I realized just how deep the sting of rejection penetrates into our soul. It’s a tough battle between winning friends and influencing people as opposed to staying true to God’s revelation in our life when people don’t agree with our path or opinion.

Jesus was rejected. In fact the prophet Isaiah said, “He was despised and rejected by men.” If we share in the sufferings of Christ, as the bible teaches, we must accept that there are those times we won’t just be rejected – we will be despised. Christ found solace in the fact that He did God’s will perfectly. As humans, we cannot be perfect like Christ, but we can do our best to bring Him glory.

Where does that leave unity among believers? It leaves us in God’s hands. We need a miracle, brothers and sisters! We must find common ground and stand firm in the love that Christ has for all men. If we don’t find a path to unity, the world never will. If the world doesn’t see His love in us, they may reject His love altogether. Maybe that is the true source of my fear of rejection. If the non-believer rejects God because the behavior of His children, we should be very afraid to face our Father when we arrive home.

“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us,so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:20-23