Summary: Many of us today are dealing with rejection. Many will have to deal with rejection in the future. What hurts the most is when unjust rejection comes from unexpected sources. As with all things, we must turn to God’s Word for guidance in coping with rej
Coping with Rejection
By Greg Johnson
I remember as a kid when we would play basketball, football or baseball in the neighborhood, we would start by choosing two captains. The captains would then take turns choosing the players they wanted until all the players were picked. The best players would always go first leaving the last ones picked with feelings of rejection.
Have you ever been rejected? Maybe by someone you loved or someone you respected and looked up to. Maybe you have been rejected by family and friends when you went through difficult times and needed them the most. It’s usually when you go through tough times that you find out who are your real friends. Maybe you were rejected and didn’t get that job, promotion, raise or bonus you were looking forward to getting. Maybe you have been rejected by people because of mistakes and bad choices you have made. You may even be rejected for not doing anything wrong. Maybe you have been rejected because of your race. Maybe you have been rejected because of an imperfection or handicap.
How do you cope with rejection? How do you react to rejection? How do you respond to rejection? How do you process and work through rejection? I’ve had to deal with rejection in my life on many occasions. I have not always reacted properly, but I am finding out that God uses rejection in my life to help mold and shape me into what He wants me to be.
Rejection in my life began at an early age. I had a very bad speech impediment when I was young. My immediate family even had difficulty understanding what I was saying. God blessed me by allowing me to be born into a family that loved me. They didn’t reject me or make fun of me because of my handicap; they loved me. I didn’t even realize I had a problem until I started school. Just a little time after I started, my mom got a call from my teacher informing her that I was withdrawing because the other children were rejecting me and making fun of me because of my speech impediment. My parents immediately sought help for me and I began years of speech therapy through a local university. At an early age, God began to help me through rejection.
You can expect children to act in such a fashion as those that rejected me as a child struggling with a handicap. Throughout my life, the greatest hurt has come from suffering rejection from those that I did not expect. I’ve been a credentialed minister faithfully serving and preaching the Gospel for over 15 years now. I was credentialed in 1991 by the denomination that I was born into and grew up in. In 1993, I left a job with a fortune 500 company where I was making close to $50,000 per year and started pastoring a home mission church in northern West Virginia that paid us $50 per week. Our first Sunday we had six people and four of them was me, my wife and my two small children. We faithfully served our Lord and our denomination there and other places where most would never go. God has always blessed us and we have learned that His provision follows our obedience to Him. He is so faithful.
I feel prompted by the Lord to be very authentic and transparent with you right now. I’ve had much reluctance in going public, but I feel the Lord would have me share something with you that has caused me and my family great hurt and pain. At the same time we have found that God’s grace has been sufficient and our dependence upon our Lord has grown intensely. I think our journey through it will strengthen others as they go through unjust rejection from unlikely sources.
I faithfully served on staff for a prominent and large church in the denomination that I was born in and grew up in. My wife and I loved the people and served them and the pastor there as unto Jesus. After we had been there two years, God required us to resign. Our whole family was in agreement that God was requiring this move of obedience so we resigned the position not knowing what we would be doing next, but knowing that God’s provision would follow our obedience. The rejection that followed our obedience was unexpected. After tendering my resignation a prominent person told me that it would be “immoral” if I kept my family in the same state of the church since I had been on staff there. I assured them that I did not know what the next step was, but that my wife and I were feeling led to go on a 40 day fast to seek the will of God. I also made it clear that I would do what God required me to do and go where He required me to go. You would think that obedience to God would please others and that they would be encouraging people to a life of obedience. Over the course of time, I found out that it was not the case. In fact, obedience to God make the religionist of our day very nervous.