There is no rejection in God

There is No Rejection in God

The cold wind of rejection can bite deep, but we are not alone. God knows rejection and can give us perspective and a new home of acceptance. 

I don’t think there is such a cold wind as the wind of rejection.

I don’t want you in my life.
You’re not welcome here.
Go away.

I’ve seen someone, who I thought was a friend, turn their whole body to look another way to avoid any form of connection.

Rejection is a saying you’re not worthy of my connection. That you don’t matter.

Where have you felt the cutting wind of rejection?

I know you will have because it’s part of the fabric of our humanity.

But how do you handle it? What have you learned?

How much rejection have you faced into?

I have one of those retractable tape measures. You pull out the steel tape to measure the length of an object. I wonder, if I could measure the amount of rejection you’ve experienced, how long would it stretch?

Starting from birth, or even before you were born (as the experience of someone I know), maybe every rejection adds on to each other. rejection tension

This rejection tape measure may feel like it extends and goes on forever. Now and then, you taste a little acceptance and some of the rejection dissipates. But then another rejection happens, and the tape extends once more.

All the while, there is a tension growing within the soul. A longing for that rejection tension to be brought home and retracted fully.

I wonder what it would be like to have no fear of rejection. No ghosts to come knocking and whispering taunts of unworthiness.

God comes and says, ‘I know what rejection is like. Welcome home to me’

God knows rejection

It’s a story everyone of us can connect in to.

Before there were kings, rulers, dictators, presidents and prime ministers, there were prophets and presence.

The way God wanted people to be led, and still does, was for them to seek God and prayerfully discover God’s will for them. God would call certain men and women to be oracles or voices of discernment and direction.

People had to work at discovering direction. It wasn’t simply dictated to them; it was more of a prayerful dance of both self-discovery and God discovery.

That requires effort, and who needs work when you can delegate all the big issues to someone else? Someone like a king.

‘Give us a King’ was the people’s demand to Samuel, God’s prophet at the time, but they also said this in a very nasty personalising way.

‘[Samuel] You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways;
appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.’ 1 Samuel 8:5

It was a rejection of Samuel, a rejection of God’s ability to solve the problem of Samuel’s sons as not being like their father, and ultimately a rejection of God’s plan for them.

God knows the icy wind of rejection more than any of us do. It’s been a spitting in the face of God ever since Genesis 3.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how often I have longed to gather your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
and you were not willing.” Jesus – Matthew 23:37

Let them have their trip

The response is so typical of God. Read it here 1 Samuel 8:4-22

Here’s the Pearman Unauthorised Version of God’s response

Let them have their way. Give them a King.

They have decided, in the free will I gave them, to disconnect and reject me.
I have not rejected them; they have rejected me.

Oh yes, Samuel, this isn’t about your age or anything else related to you. This is more about that stubborn independent streak running through them.

They want their life, their way.

Let them go, let them have their trip.

Just warn them that this king will put taxes on them. The king won’t be generous like me. It will be hard. Very, very hard. It will be a dictatorship, not a grace-ship.

Let them go.

So they reject God and wander off like a prodigal son thinking they know best.

They have rejected me

There is some comfort in this story for us when we have been rejected.

Three observations

  1. God knows rejection. We have someone in God that knows exactly what being rejected is like. It’s a home we can return to with our own war stories of pain. That retractable measuring tape can rewind itself into God’s welcoming arms and know acceptance.
  2. Don’t take it personally. It may not be about you at all. This rejection wasn’t about Samuel, it was about the peoples rejection of God. Often, people’s rejection of you may have very little to do with you at all. It may come from other places and you’re simply the scape goat to land it on.
  3. How others treat you may say more about them than it does about you. Sometimes it’s healthy to shift the focus away from you and ask about the other. What does it say about them? What’s going in their life? Pray for them, have compassion, and love them anyway. We all have work to do on ourselves, but what about the other that is rejecting you?
  4. Let them have their trip. Let them go just like God did. We see a mirror to this story in that of the Loving Father and the Prodigal Son. The son rejected the father; the father let him have his trip, but always with an opportunity to return. 

When you’ve been rejected

Here’s a suggestion for when you’ve been rejected.

  • Find or create a family of unconditional acceptance

A verse I have clung onto in those moments of rejected loneliness is from the Psalms.

God sets the lonely in families. Psalm 68:6

It may not be a family in the sense of parents, children, etc though often it can be. But more so, it might be like a nest of safe relationships where you can feel held, loved and known.

Don’t isolate, instead look where you can integrate into places of acceptance.

Others have known the coldness of being similarly rejected. They know what’s needed.

Then I would suggest forming ‘families’ for the rejected. Create places and spaces for the rejected to know acceptance.

 

Questions? 
Comments?
Email me 🙂📨
barry@turningthepage.co.nz

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Quotes to consider

  • In order for you to get off the emotional roller coaster, you will have to give up the fantasy that you can or should change someone else. Randi Kregar, Paul Mason 
  • Two unrealistic expectations of marriage: That it will annul all loneliness; That one person can make another person happy. D. Riddell
  • Love wins over guilt any day. It is sad that we settle for the short-run effectiveness of shaming people instead of the long-term life benefits of grace-filled transformation. Richard Rohr
  • In the moments of insecurity and crisis, “shoulds” and “oughts” don’t really help; they just increase the shame, guilt, pressure, and likelihood of backsliding. It’s the deep “yeses” that carry you through. Focusing on something you absolutely believe in, that you’re committed to, will help you wait it out. Richard Rohr 
  • Just because you forgive someone does not mean you must trust them – that has to be earned back again. David Riddell

Questions to answer

  1. When have you felt rejected?
  2. How does ‘letting them take their trip’ feel to you?
  3. What are the qualities of a ‘family’ that would be welcoming to the lonely and rejected?

Formation exercise

  • Consider the four observations above. Which one grabs your attention the most and why? Journal your discovery.

Further reading

God Sets the Lonely in Families

A Christmas Rejection – No Place For You

Why Was I Created?

 

 

Barry Pearman

Photo by phil cruz on Unsplash

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

 

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