Thursday, January 14, 2010
I’ve been studying for my sermon this weekend and needed a break. The topic is pretty sensitive to me and I’m sure to many others as well. Rejection. We’ve all experienced it at some level. Even Jesus experienced rejection from some really close friends. You can read it for yourself in John 13.
Depending on the relationship and the circumstances, rejection can be pretty devastating. I’ve lost some really good friends over the past couple of years. I’ve called them. Left messages. Sent word with mutual friends. Nothing. Not even a “tell Doug hi”. Of all those who can hurt you, it’s those closest to you who have the greatest potential to inflict the most pain.
So how can we deal with rejection? We’ll, we can choose to take revenge. You know, say bad things about them or do things to smear their reputation. That might feel good for a little while, but it will only make matters worse. Or, we could respond to rejection by building a wall around our heart to block the offender out. Problem is, that wall around your heart might keep other’s out as well. That can be a pretty lonely existence!
Fact is, how we deal with rejection impacts so much of our life. So how should I respond to rejection? We need to look no further than the life of Jesus to get the answer: Choose to forgive. To forgive means to “release someone from debt”. That means the person who offended you no longer “owes” you anything.
In some cases forgiveness can come pretty easily. I have chosen to forgive my “lost friends” of the last couple of years. If they called today, I’d be so excited to visit with them. There are other friends I’ve loaned money to who have never paid me back or even said “thank you”. I’ve chosen to forgive them as well. When I was 14 years old, I was “in love” with an older woman who was 16 years old. She said she didn’t “love me the same way”. Ouch! But I have forgiven her, too.
In other cases, forgiveness seems to take a little more time. I’ve had those experiences as well. (Sorry, I’m not going to name names.) But I have chosen, over time, to forgive them. Some situations seem to have taken me a little more time and a lot more grace.
Is there someone you need to forgive? You may be thinking that there is no way you can do it. God says He is willing to give us all the grace we need to do it!
2 Corinthians 9:8 assures us:
8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Cry out to Our God, “Lord, give me the grace to forgive ______________________ .” Pray it over and again until He blesses you with the grace you need. And when He does, choose to forgive!