You fat pig! You can’t sit here. I hate you! We don’t want your kind around here. Have you ever heard words like these before? If you have, you know how deeply they hurt. These words are words of rejection and being rejected is a very difficult thing to handle. Each of us has faced it and our first occurrence took place way back in our early childhoods. Since then, we have staggered from rejection to rejection. Oh, we may pick ourselves up, but each rejection adds to the last and we never seem to completely recover. We simply harden ourselves and move forward. However, that is only true for some of us. For the rest of us, is there any hope? Is there anyone who will not reject us? The answer is yes.
I have seen it many times. Those who have been rejected tend to have a heart towards others who have also been rejected. This is not always true: there are some who have become hardened people and only project their hurt on others, but they are not the majority.
I have a friend who has been rejected many times and even by friends and family. Every time I need acceptance and support he is there. He is able to help me, because he knows what it is like to be rejected and he understands the struggles I face each time I am rejected. He knows the sorrow that I feel, because he also has felt it. His compassion and strength become my stability. He is a very true friend.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: (Isaiah 53:3)
Have you been rejected? If so, speak with my friend. He wants to embrace you in his caring arms and provide the comfort and support you need to overcome your hurts. You don’t need to measure up to gain his support, you simply need to reach out.
If we knew how others viewed us, how many would say that we are self centered or all we think about is ourselves? The number may surprise us. In defense, we may point out the many times that we have reached out with aid to others. We may speak of how we support others in need or simply how we act kindly towards others. The question is, “Is that enough?”
Is it enough to perform actions of kindness and charity? I think not. Actions can be just that: simply actions. We can perform acts of kindness without the true motive for our actions being known. Guilt, fear of rejection and pride can each be a motivation for kind acts and if they are, the works performed will not be acts of kindness.
In his letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul best describes this virtue. Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; (2 Timothy 1:4). True kindness occurs as a result of empathy. Paul describes this emotion as “being mindful of thy tears”. The word mindful comes from two words meaning “to stay” and “to chew”. We are mindful about something when we continue to roll the idea over in our minds. For those being kind, they are rolling over in their minds the hurts and pains of others which causes them tears.
They may continually think of their friend’s hurt from losing a loved one. They focus on the pain and sickness of others and carry those burdens with them. When friends are absent from church or just out of touch, they wonder how they are doing and if they are abounding through their circumstances. These are the thoughts of a person who cares.
So let me ask you, do you really care about others? To find out, let your thoughts be your judge.
Why does God allow mean people to treatment me wrongfully? Or why does God allow people to hurt me? These questions have puzzled many and caused countless people to struggle and even fall away from their faith.
To some degree, the Apostle Paul addressed this issue in the following Scripture passage.
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; (Philippians 1:29)
I remember as a kid, my mother repeatedly played on our stereo the same song: I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. I was so sick of hearing that song, but one thing I distinctly remember from it was that along with the sunshine, there will be a little rain sometime. I guess that sums up relationships, work and even life itself.
Sadly to say, there are many who are saying that if people come to Christ, their lives will be a wonderful experience. They present it like their lives will be a bed of roses. What a mixed up theology. I can say that I would never even think of trading my life in Christ for anything, but I also can definitely say that as a Christian my life has not been easy. But again, why would God want me to suffer at all let alone suffer for Christ?
Our life experiences are a testament to the world. Because the lost will not seek God, he brings the message of hope and love to them. As we experience trials just as the lost do, God wants to demonstrate his comfort and love through his interaction with us. As we experience grace and strength, The Lord sends his message of love to the lost.
God also allows the wicked to oppress us so that he may convict them by us not being afraid but remaining strong in him. Trials and troubles are not joyful, but we can find joy while in the midst of them. God wants to meet you in that trouble and manifest his presence to you. When he does, the lost around you will see a demonstration of what he wants to do for them. We must remember that we are bought with a price and because he paid the great price of our salvation, we now belong to him. He will use us as he pleases and we must trust that whatever he does will be what is best for us and for others. Trials never seem like what is best, but it is during those times that our faith must rely on God and his goodness.