Rejection. We run as far and as fast as we can from it. We have no problems rejecting others it if means protecting ourselves from the same fate.
And yet, it remains unavoidable. The illusion is if we keep people at just enough of a distance the rejection wont sting as much as if we’d let them completely into our hearts.
Have you noticed how easy it is to criticize, and how difficult it can be to look into someone’s eyes and express what you appreciate and value about them? At best we try to simply not offend anyone. Pointing to the treasure in someone's heart and character is rarely done anymore because we tend to fear the other person will think we're being forward, or perhaps the kindness wont be returned.
Unfortunately when we’re sarcastic, critical, insensitive or indifferent, we numb the part of our heart that feels pain. This means we numb the part that feels love as well. The very tool we use to protect ourselves our greatest enemy.
Rejection is unavoidable. But it doesn’t have to be destructive.
I know. There’s that one person, that husband or wife, child or parent, friend or lover, who has done so much damage through rejecting you the very thought of it stings like venom in your veins.
There will come a time when I can share a very real, very present, rejection I know God will use to help me connect with you. Today, however, the words of Christ, which stand all on their own, stand out to me regarding rejection.
Jesus is about to send out his disciples, two by two, into the surrounding areas (Matthew 10). He tells them they’ll be sheep among wolves (v.16) and to take nothing with them on the journey (v.9-10). Nothing less than a little daunting of a task for those who are used to being simple fishermen and farmers in tight family businesses.
Vulnerability is always the first step into one of two possibilities: rejection or relationship. One feels catastrophic, depending on where our hope rests. The other brings connection beyond comprehension.
When we find ourselves in the midst of rejection, Christ tells us exactly what we should do. If rejected, “leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet” (v.14).
Don’t carry it with you. Don’t let it cling to any part of you. When a rock is thrown at your face, don’t catch it and put it in your backpack for the rest of your journey. Let it fall and leave it in the sand as you walk away.
Rejection stings, there’s no denying it. It’s like a rock in your shoe, or an itch in your back you just can’t reach.
In such instances, take off your shoe and shake it upside down before you take another step. Turn to a friend and tell them to scratch until the itch goes away. Don’t give it another moment to make your life any more difficult than it already is.
Hold onto the good memories like a warm blanket on a cold night. Rejection is the enemy’s way of spitting lies into your heart that fester like parasites. You don’t matter. You’re not important. You’re a joke. You’re not fooling anybody…
While Christ has made the statements that stand as solid as a rock on a windy day: You are mine. You are my beloved. You are worth dying for. You are precious. You are the apple of my eye…
We get to choose what we believe. When Jesus says to dust the sand off your feet, he holds your face in his hands and whispers, I love you. Remember what I told you. Shake the ugly off and keep on steppin’ sweetheart, you’re mine.
We choose what we’re going to believe. The sand that disappears on a breeze, or the immovable rock. Whoever rejected you, whoever offended you, shake the dust off your feet and take another step. Stand on the rock of truth that never wavers no matter what your circumstances tell you.