He did not retaliate when was insulted. When he suffered, he did not threaten to get even. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. 1 Peter 2:23 NLT
Rejection is never fun, and many avenues are traveled to avoid it.
Peer pressure is a part of growing up. As a middle school teacher, I’ve watched the lengths students will travel to be accepted—especially new students who want to fit in. Parents are persuaded to spend extra money so kids can have name brand clothes or the most popular tech games.
New students sometimes completely change their personalities, trying to become the person they feel their peers want them to be. I watched one student overdose on an over-the-counter drug just to get attention. Some who have no interest in sports play anyway. Others will make poor grades just so they won’t be made fun of for being smart.
The only perfect person who ever lived also faced rejection. But Jesus didn’t retaliate, change His personality, or try to become someone else to fit in. He accepted rejection as a part of God’s plan for Him.
Rejection is worth the cost when the cause is admirable. Jesus’ cause was worth everything He had to undergo. He was going to die for humanity’s sins. His death would usher in a new existence for those who would accept Him as God’s perfect sacrifice.
As a believer and Jesus’ representative, I should expect rejection. And I’ve received it. During middle school, in fact, I was rejected and laughed at by some because of my moral values. I wouldn’t let anyone copy my homework—which I actually viewed as important. I figured if I suffered through the agony of doing it, the lazy students could as well. Nor would I cheat simply to make a good grade.
With God’s wisdom, however, I can process my rejection. If I’m rejected because I follow Him, I can depend on God’s strength to help me accept the rejection—regardless of how much it hurts.
When rejection comes, I can also be assured that God will never reject me. In the scheme of life, the reasons others reject me are often trivial. My ultimate acceptance must come from God—even if it means being rejected by everyone else. When I’m accepted by God, my purpose in life will become clear and my joy will be complete.
Who are you seeking acceptance from—and at what cost?
Prayer: Father, remind us that following You is worth any price we might have to pay.