by Neil Anderson
If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you
Everyone knows what it feels like to be criticized and rejected, often by the very people in our lives we desperately want to please. We were born and raised in a worldly environment which chooses favorites and rejects seconds. And since nobody can be the best at everything, we all were ignored, overlooked or rejected at times by parents, teachers and friends.
Furthermore, since we were born in sin, even God had no relationship with us until we were accepted by Him in Christ at salvation. Since then we have been the target of Satan, the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10), who never ceases to lie to us about how worthless we are to God and others. In this life we all have to live with the pain of rejection.
The acceptance of God is not based on our performance but on His kindness and mercy. “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy” (Titus 3:4, 5). “Wherefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God” (Romans 15:7).
The thoughts and feelings of rejection which often plague us can be major deterrents to growth and maturity if we don’t learn to handle them positively. Unfortunately, instead of taking a positive approach, we all learned early in life to respond to rejection by taking one of three defensive postures. Even Christians are influenced to react defensively to the rejection they experience in their family, their school, or society in general.
Over the next several days we will look at three ineffective and unnecessary ways to respond to rejection, and consider God’s plan for helping us deal with rejection from others.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your unconditional love and acceptance. Teach me to accept others as You have accepted me.