Thursday, February 17, 2011
How many of you have experienced rejection in your life? How about wanting a job and the answer was, “We have already filled that position with someone else.” How many of you have been turned down when you were dating and wanted to date someone and the response was, “I’m busy that night.” It was painful in the early stages of raising children when you wanted to hold your child and they wanted someone else to hold them, leaving you standing there feeling rejection from your child. Have you ever felt rejection from a friend when going to school and your friend wanted to play with someone else or go to somebody’s house over your house? It seems that throughout life we experience rejection, at least I do and when you put a few of these rejections together, you can start feeling like you have been rejected.
Well today I read a story in Judges 11 about Jephthah whose father was Gilead and his mother was a prostitute. Gilead had a wife who bore him sons, but he had an illegitimate son from a prostitute he never married. When the sons were older, they told Jephthah to leave the land because he was not going to get any inheritance of his father. How rejected can you get. He felt left out of the family. Later in life, the people of Gilead were at war with the Ammonites and went to Jephthah and ask him to lead the tribe to fight against the enemy. As you might expect, he asked all kinds of questions like, “You kicked me out of the land and why are you now wanting me to lead your army into battle? When I gain victory over your enemy, are you going to kick me out and reject me again? How will I know that you are telling me the truth to do me good?
When we experience rejection, we become wary of others motives when they want to be with us and use our gifts and abilities. One thing that hit me deeply is that rejection often is followed by success, but it is our choice to focus on the feelings of rejection or to focus on what God has in store for us after we experience rejection. As you read on you see Jephthah having tremendous victory over the enemy, but it was only because he didn’t dwell on the rejection he experienced but put it aside for God to use him in the future. Rejection is truly a means for building perseverance in our lives so that we can be equipped for the Master’s work (James 1: 2-4). Rejection in our lives can be an obstacle that takes us off the journey, or it can be an opportunity to develop qualities in our lives to grow closer to Him, my choice–your choice. So let’s persevere on this journey together.