Monday, February 20, 2012

Handling Rejection

“I want this to be the most encouraging rejection you have ever received,” the letter from the editor read. Excuse me, but is rejection ever encouraging?

It wasn’t my first rejection letter. Writers are accustomed to them regardless of their experience. And I’ve received my share, but I keep writing and submitting. I know what picky breeds editors are; I’m one myself. We seek certain criteria and dump what fails to meet our persnickety conditions.

Occasionally I encounter editors who don’t indiscriminately reject. Instead they offer suggestions. If a writer is willing to make changes, his work is accepted and he becomes a better writer. Those who reject critiques often give up.

The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. (Genesis 4:4-5)

Cain rejected God’s rebuff. He and Abel heard God’s instructions for sacrifices and worship. Abel chose God’s way; Cain chose his own. Instead of learning from God’s corrective marks, he got angry and killed Abel. 

Life hands out multitudes of rejections. From teachers who fail us, to spouses who abuse us and employers who fire us. Add friends who stab us and tragedies that strike us and life gets depressing. We can’t always avoid rejection but we do determine our response. Rather than anger, unforgiveness, revenge and unkindness, we can love unconditionally and learn continually. Rejection hurts and our response either soothes or shatters.

Prayer: Father, when we’re rejected, guide us to love in return as You do.