We have all felt it. It seems to be an inescapable offshoot of humanity’s brokenness. And while each of us will have had different experiences with it, it’s there and it will eventually leave its mark. And because every person does experience rejection, I truly believe the enemy strikes us here more than any other place. Why? Because experiencing enough rejection can kill a calling. And satan would love nothing more than to pile it on early and often. The easiest time to kill something, after all, is in its infancy…
Rejection begins in childhood. And it can take on so many forms. For some, there may be a form of rejection within the family, (even if you had a wonderful childhood, rejection can sneak in unbeknownst simply based off of circumstances beyond your control). For example: many grow up in a single parent household.. and those children may absorb that absence as rejection.
For others, it could be parents with work schedules that keep them away more often than home. Again, these aren’t unusual circumstances! Its typical to have working parents, (and I’ll add that it’s great for kids to see a hard work ethic). However, the enemy loves to slide into these absences and start planting that seed where he can… rejection. Maybe the parents don’t make all of the ballgames or school functions…and deep down, that child begins to believe they aren’t a priority. See how sneaky this can be? And how early it begins!
Some may have grown up with parents who place a lot of emphasis on performance. These children may develop a sense of striving for fear of rejection.
Then, at some point, our children will enter into the big old world. As a mom of a brand new kindergartener, I have never been more painfully aware of all of the ways my little boy can feel the sting of rejection.
From childhood on, rejection goes with you and grows with you. From family and school, it graduates into college, relationships, and working life experiences.
A heart full of rejection can wreak lifelong havoc. I guess I wanted to share a few of my own experiences to remind those listening that truly, nobody is exempt from encountering rejection. But in the midst of it, I also hope to share some lessons God has revealed to me through it.
The very first thing He reminded me of was that I wasn’t alone in experiencing rejection. In fact… Jesus is the very picture of one who was rejected by many. Did you know that Jesus humbled himself to take on human flesh and be born a man in this world so that he could experience what we experience? There is nothing we experience today that Jesus didn’t take on flesh to experience and then defeat (when he went to the cross).
Now, I’m not saying this to compare my rejection to Jesus, AT ALL. No. What I am saying is God knew that humanity couldn’t fully relate to Him unless He gave us an example. Unless He came in human form to experience what humanity experiences. And that’s what He did in Jesus. Jesus is God - made flesh. He came to live as a man, but unlike man, He was perfect and lived perfectly. And despite being perfect, He STILL felt the stings of a very broken world. I believe God knew there would be comfort in that. In understanding Jesus loved us enough to come to earth so that His children would know that “He, too felt these things we feel…”.
On today’s episode, I’ll read Luke 4:16-30 to share one of many times Jesus is rejected. I’ll also point out a few lessons we can learn from how he responds..
Today, I pray everyone under the sound of my voice asks God to bring healing in any areas of rejection. I pray that hearts will soften. I pray that striving will cease. And I pray you’ll take back what the enemy has tried to steal, kill, and destroy from your life. I ask God to replace those experiences… bring restoration, life, and joy abundant! In Jesus’ precious name, I pray…Amen.
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