Deeply seeded in each of us is an inherent fear of rejection. We can wear it on us like a heavy cloak, feeling its weight on our shoulders.
Rejection hurts. But rejection can be a refining fire. It can challenge our convictions, our attitudes, and our perceptions. It can put us to the test, so to speak. It can dig at the heart of who we truly are.
What part of us will we steadfastly refuse to alter, even if it risks garnering rejection from people around us? Rejection is not nearly as tragic as the stifling of one’s true self.
Jesus endured immense shaming, from political as well as religious leaders. The Bible tells us to expect the same kind of treatment from the world. If we embrace this, as Jesus embraced it, we can view rejection as a way to refine our faith into twenty-four-carat gold.
Not everybody is going to love the choices we make. And sometimes people reject us because we are behaving badly, in which case we ought to repent. The challenge is to weed through various rejection, shedding the ugly parts rejection might expose while strengthening the parts of us that need to remain unchanged. Then trouble, no matter its source, becomes an opportunity to grow. To be refined.
And the result we are promised is praise, honor and glory from Jesus when He returns. When that day comes, all the rejection we might have faced from people will seem as nothing compared to praise from our Lord. For now, we are invited to see that time by faith, and choose a perspective that testing of our faith is preparation for that Day.
“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
– 1 Peter 1:7