Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Rejection isn’t a built-in personal characteristic, like height or eye colour.  It’s not even inwardly preset like introversion or IQ.  Therefore it can be fixed!

  1. Rejection is an outcome of the dynamic that anthropologists call group inclusion.  At some level, the feeling is traceable to the fact that this didn’t happen for you.  We all experience some of it.
  2. There are patterns of rejection.  One is that you weren’t picked for a team or selected for some recognition, and the experience soured.  King David could have felt this from his father’s action in 1 Samuel 16.  A second is when you’re singled out to be excluded – picked on to not be included.  Jesus hinted at this when He spoke of “the stone the builders rejected” (from Psalm 118:22).  People with disabilities may feel this.  A third is when we find we’re suspicious of criteria that are part of normal everyday diversity because we interpret them subjectively.  Much modern political correctness goes into trying to deal with this.
  3. Consequences follow, in the face of persistent rejection feeling.  We come to believe there is some innate rejection characteristic about us.  We call this generalising, labelling or personalising.  As we’ve seen, this is a lie.  Second, we position ourselves as lifelong “outsiders”, and make normal group dynamics near-impossible.  Third we develop a false set of social rules around the vocabulary of distance, isolation and abandonment, and fears of them.  These require truth, love and hope to straighten out.
  4. God has a remedy, and we must begin to discern it.  Yes, with the devil, Adam was cursed.  But God set in motion a drama of redemption.  He brought His (representative) people into covenant.  He made provisions for their transgressions to be atoned for, so He had no undealt-with cause to reject them.
  5. God’s Son came as Jesus the Man from Heaven, with the good news that there was again a place of inclusion – the eternal Kingdom.  Jesus gives us His Spirit, so the same Sonship awareness moves in us.  It confirms our adoption into God’s family.  Even Fatherly discipline and correction is a token of inclusion.
  6. Armed with this new position, understanding and dynamic, the church can extend acceptance where sin has created separation.  But, the world will remain estranged and maybe oppose.
 So, what’s this about?  There’s a dynamic of division running through life.  The fundamental issue is that we dissociated ourselves from God by our sin.  The good news is we’re invited into the best family around: His.
MATTHEW 21:42  Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: " `The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvellous in our eyes'?  43 "Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.


Discerning God’s remedy.  It was for good reason that the Hebrews emphasised separation as the pain of sin and death.  With the devil, we’re constitutionally outsiders.  Immediately God began to work on rehabilitating Adam.  A second snake episode showed God would atone for transgressions under His covenant.
GENESIS 3:23  So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.  24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
NUMBER 21:6  Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.  7 The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you.  Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us."  So Moses prayed for the people.  8 The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live."  9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole.  Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.


Jesus the Man from Heaven, finally overcame the problem.  He bore the pain and grief of rejection by man (for being too holy) and God (for being too sinful).  But God vindicated His action done in our place.
LUKE 9:20  "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"  Peter answered, "The Christ of God."  21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.  22 And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."
MARK 15:12  "What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?"  Pilate asked them.  13 "Crucify him!" they shouted.  14 "Why?  What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.  But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"  15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them.  He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.


Jesus the Son of God instates those born again (from above) as sons, adopted into God’s eternal family.
ROMANS 8:13  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."  16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.  17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs -- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
EPHESIANS 1:3  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will -- 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.


The church – a new humanity of inclusion.  The old distinctions have been swallowed up in Christ.
EPHESIANS 4:15  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
COLOSSIANS 3:11  Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.  12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…


It takes time to put into practise: we must reflex to what Christ accomplished, not what we feel.  We note that an unbelieving world misunderstands and may mishandle us.  Nor is our Father’s correction, rejection.
1 PETER 2:4  As you come to him, the living Stone -- rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him -- 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
LUKE 6:22  Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.  23 "Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.  For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.
1 TIMOTHY 1:18  Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience.  Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.


Scripture quotes from the New International Version.
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Application  It’s no good blaming other people, situations or God.  The world needs Jesus’s radical cure.
·       What’s the best thing to do when you feel like running even tho God’s drawing you in not pushing you away?
·       “Hurting people hurt people”, says John Maxwell.  That’s why the fact that Jesus didn’t retaliate is our hope.
·       How does the Holy Spirit testify in you to God’s adoption and your place in Christ’s body?  Do you listen?

1. I’ve been so much rejected,
I’ve often felt alone,
A heart that feels like breaking;
No friends, no hope, no home.
I’m asking You to help me, Lord. (×2)

2. Abused by many people
And knowing so much shame.
I’ve longed to find some loving
From those who understand.
I’m asking You to help me, Lord. (×2)

3. Through drugs and drink I’ve stifled
The memories in my head,
And sometimes I’ve been foolish
In wishing I was dead.
I’m asking You to help me, Lord. (×2)

4. So, please will you accept me:
Just me, just like I am.
And help me find some healing
From all my fears and pain.
I’m asking You to help me, Lord. (×2)

NCCC © 1996 Jesus Fellowship Songs/CopyCare Ltd.

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