Hello to all who have decided to follow along as I post for 21 days straight as part of our church fast. As you can see, each entry is numbered as a particular day, so if you are reading this and the title above doesn’t say Day 1, then you should stop now and go read from Day 1, or take a peek at Day 2 and pick a topic you are interested in. Thanks for being brave enough to join me.
Hello, lucky reader! This post, like yesterday’s, also has a point, but it comes after considerable confession. Welcome to my head again…
Every feel like those wads of paper in the picture above? They’ve been rejected, deemed unworthy to keep, not even as bad examples, just tossed out.
Rejection happens to everyone at some point in their life. Some of the most successful people on the planet have been rejected more times than they can count. I envy them.
I don’t envy them because they are successful. That’s not my problem. I envy them because they appear not to care they were rejected. They move through their lives with a positive tilt on their acceptance/”rejectance” meter, not because they haven’t been rejected, but because they overcame that to be…successful.
If you know me, you probably know I avoid confrontation at all costs. I hate confrontation. It makes my head spin and stomach queasy. I’ll accept poor service, bad food, bad deals, and more, just to avoid confrontation.
But there is one thing I hate worse than confrontation.You guessed it. It’s our topic of the day – rejection.
Every fiber of my being hates rejection and not just overt, intentional rejection (which is usually for a good reason). It’s the unintentional rejection that hurts even more. It’s the lack of enthusiasm for one of my ideas. It’s the “playing along so he’ll get it out of his system” rejection that crawls all over me and bruises my fragile ego. I’m not saying everyone has to agree with me all the time, far from it (and that would be a terrible thing to do), but reject me or my idea overtly and intentionally so I can at least be sure that is what is happening.
Because that is the crux of the matter, isn’t it? Those of us who hate rejection most likely are not rejected as much as we think we are. We imagine rejection by other people as the norm and assume it in every movement they make and everything they say, partially from past experience, partially from a lack of confidence in ourselves. That’s why including rejection in the building of a character in a novel is essential. Characters who haven’t been rejected, especially in a huge, impactful ways, haven’t suffered enough for most authors (or even some readers).
I know I sound certifiable at this point, but I promise it’s not so. When I concentrate and remember that there is someone who will never reject me (here comes the point!), that someone being Jesus, I am better able to let rejection, real or imagined, roll off my back like eggs off Teflon (wow, that’s an old reference – sorry). Jesus will never reject us if we come to him in repentance and commit to him (Psalm 94:14). It doesn’t matter what shape we are in at the time – hurting, angry, ashamed, or addicted (or all of these) – he will receive us with open arms, again and again and again.
Because we are real good at rejecting Jesus. When we choose our plans and our path over his plans and his path for us, we reject him, crumpling him up (as an idea in our head and heart) and tossing him away. It imagine it has to hurt him. Think about an exceptionally hurtful time you were rejected (just for a second) and imagine that happening over and over. That’s what I think Jesus feels every day from those who reject him, whether they do it maliciously or unthinkingly.
Rejection – it’s not just a character builder, it’s something I try to avoid. However, if we truly live the Christian life, we are guaranteed to be rejected (and hated) at some point. That’s scriptural – check out John 15:18-25.
Thanks for reading to the end! Check back tomorrow as I write about writing – what it means to me and what it allows me to do.