Almost everyone has felt rejected at one time or another. It is quite possible that some of us have rejected others without realizing it, or maybe, knowingly while rationalizing our behavior. Some rejections are necessary while others are selfish and cruel. Sometimes auto parts prove to be inferior or dangerous and must be recalled and rejected. Some college entrance applications are rejected because of limited openings and candidates with better qualifications. A writer’s story might not fit the editor’s needs and thus it will receive a rejection slip. All of these are valid reasons for rejection.
Unfortunately, there are far too many times when rejection is invalid and thoughtless. When small children are shunned by their peers, when one clique rejects same age schoolmates, when a former friend decides not to invite a person to a party, all these things hurt someone. When anyone uses age, race, socio-economics or physical handicap to rebuff, discard or cast off another, this is rejection of the worst kind. This does more than bruise an ego, it may cause that person to lose a belief in his/her intrinsic value. It shows the offender’s guilt, fear and selfish ego.
In the first Biblical family, God rejected Cain’s sacrifice and accepted Abel’s, but for cause (Gen 4:2-5). He also rejected the older twin Esau and favored the younger one, Jacob, once again with a reason (Rom 9: 13-15) (Heb 12:16). The prophet Samuel thought the people had rejected him, but God told him that they were actually rejecting Him (1 Sam 8:7). God rejected all of David’s older brothers as His choice of a new King of Israel and chose a mere shepherd boy whose heart was in tune with God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14).
The Apostle Paul was rejected by his former Jewish comrades who now, “cast him into prison, flogged him, beat him…” (2 Cor 11:23ff). He was constantly threatened and in danger from his own countrymen and from Gentiles (v 26).
Tragically, Jesus Christ was prophesied to be, “…despised and rejected by men…” (Isa 53:3). He was, “…rejected by men but chosen by God” (1 Pe 2:4). “The stone which the builders rejected has become the capstone…” (Mt 21:42) “…whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (Jo 3:36).
Jesus warns all his followers that those who choose to, “…deny himself and take up his cross daily…” (Lk 9:23) will be persecuted just as He was (Jo 15:20). Paul adds, “…everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Tim 3:12) Many martyrs found how true that is as they were rejected by being burned at the stake. They received the crown of righteousness which the Lord will award to them and to all who are faithful to the end. If we want to be in that number, we also will reject the rejection of godless men.