The Pain of Rejection

"So because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you from being king." 1 Samuel 15:23 NLT

Rejection is never pleasant, and Robert knew all about it.

Robert was a member of the first church I pastored. He and his family were faithful members as well as hard workers. But he faced the daily pain of rejection. His brother lived next door but rarely spoke to him. Years before, a family dispute had disrupted their relationship. When their father died, Robert received most of the family estate-but only because he paid for it. His brother didn't believe that, however. All he could see was favoritism. He took out his anger through acts of rejection. One was by rarely speaking to his brother. The other was by building a fence between their houses.

Although it was his own fault, King Saul of Israel knew the pain of rejection-and from a higher source. Saul had a habit of disobeying God's commands. Finally, God had enough and took the kingship from him.

God isn't in the business of rejection. Had Saul repented, God would have restored His relationship with him-even though the consequence of losing the kingdom would have held. Once we enter God's family, we're there for good. He'll never turn or throw us away unless we simply choose not to believe in Him. Unfortunately, others don't always act as God does.

Regardless of whom rejection comes from, it hurts. By its very nature, rejection is painful. God rejected Saul because of disobedience, but the reasons others might reject us are numerous. Rejection might come because of our appearance, our intelligence, or what we have or don't have. Or because we hurt someone, because we don't fit in, because of our education, or because they found someone else.

Trusting God for peace when we've experienced rejection is always wise. No one or thing can give peace as He can. Even though someone has broken my trust, it's also important that I don't stop trusting everyone just because of what I've experienced with one. Not everyone will reject me. I can also find comfort by reading God's Word and other Christian material and by spending time in prayer. In times of rejection, having a good group of Christian friends is equally important. Because they have experienced Christian love, they know how to support and comfort me.

How do you deal with the pains of rejection?

Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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