This is the second installment of the series When You Are Rejected. If you didn’t read the first article, I would encourage you to do so, so that you can get the foundation of this series. To read the first article click on this link:
I ended the last article with a statement that God whispered to my spirit which had me running to my Bible. “They are not rejecting you,” he said, “…they are rejecting me.” Now, before we go any further, there is something we need to understand. The statement quoted above is taken from the book of Luke 10:16. In the beginning it reads; “Whoever listens to you, listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me.” Pondered carefully, the above statement stipulates that there is something you say first, which heralds either a positive or negative response from the hearer. The crux of the matter is what you say!
So before we can claim that the people who reject us are rejecting Jesus, we must first test what it is that we have been communicating! For instance, if a fellow believer started avoiding me because I was a vicious gossip and did nothing but talk about and tarnish people’s names, I would hardly have a basis to say that their rejection of me is a rejection of Jesus! Why? Because what I was communicating was not of Jesus! The Bible teaches that no unwholesome talk should come out of our mouths; Ephesians 4:29. Since, by gossiping, I would be dishonouring the Word of the God I profess to serve, being avoided would be the most godly thing a true follower of God would be doing!
Let me take it a step further. Speech is not the only way of communicating. We communicate through our actions also, hence the popular saying; actions speak louder than words. In the book of Philemon 1:6, the apostle Paul talks to believers about the way they should communicate their faith. He says we are to communicate in a way that deepens our understanding of everything good we share for the sake of Christ. That means that the way we live our lives should demonstrate the goodness of Christ in our lives.
Going back to our key scripture in Luke 10:16; allow me then to deduce that if your communication is godly; in speech and in deed, and you are in turn rejected for that, it is then and only then that we can say that by rejecting you, people are rejecting Jesus. In fact, they are rejecting the Jesus who lives in you.
Often times, people do not reject you because of you. They reject you because of who you represent; because of whose you are; because of who lives in you; because of what you stand for. Now if you read the tenth chapter of the book of Luke from the beginning, you get to a place where Jesus tells the seventy-two that He is sending them out like lambs among wolves. Now, we understand that he was referring to the disciples (believers) as lambs and the unbelievers (the world) as wolves. The sad truth these days is that even among those we consider fellow lambs (believers) there are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
You know, when I got saved, I knew that I would get a lot of rejection from the world. I just didn’t expect it in the Church. I guess that is why the scenario I decked out in the first article hurt so much, because the rejection happened in a place I did not anticipate it to happen. But then again, as I kept pondering the statement that they were not rejecting me, but they were rejecting Jesus, I was reminded of a scripture that somehow summed up the rejection of Jesus by the Jews. “He came unto his own, but his own received him not.” John 1:11.
So what am I trying to say in this instalment of the series? If you are to navigate this Christian journey successfully, you must know that you will be rejected. It will be painful. But one thing that will give you solace is to know that you were rejected for the truth. It is better to be rejected for the truth than be accepted for a lie. It is better to be rejected and still have your Jesus than be accepted and have Jesus shut out. Through these incidents I shared earlier, I have learnt not to take rejection personally. I advise you to do the same. Believe me, as much as it may hurt, nothing is as satisfying and comforting as knowing that as those who reject you walk away, your spiritual integrity is still intact.
Join me again on the next article of this series, as I unveil another aspect of rejection. Until then, God bless you.