Summary: How should we deal with or respond to rejection? It’s a very good question especially when it comes to the Church.
The now infamous Lance Armstrong once said, “A boo is a lot louder than a cheer.” And he actually hit the nail on the head, because no one wants to be rejected. It can make you come to the conclusion Oprah Winfrey came to when she said, “I don’t want anyone who doesn’t want me” because no one wants the door slammed in their face. But have you ever considered the fact that rejection in itself can help you to grow spiritually? If you’ve ever been rejected you are on the list with people like Thomas Edison who was told by his teachers that he “was too stupid to learn anything” and Albert Einstein who did not speak until he was four; did not read until he was seven and his teachers actually dismissed him as being mentally handicapped. And more up to date you have joined the likes of Mr. Bill Gates, who dropped out of Harvard; his first company failed miserably but now his Microsoft Company is a global giant.
How should we deal with or respond to rejection? It’s a very good question especially when it comes to the Church. I have my own personal example; I moved from my hometown and joined a rather large Church in another city. At first, the pastor appeared to be very receptive of my family and me; he allowed me to preach to his congregation and afterwards mistakenly assumed that I was out to take the Church that he pastors. For next two years I was rejected by this particular pastor who is actually a very powerful and sought after preacher who should not consider me to be a threat in the least, it would only be in my dreams that I should preach in the manner he preaches.
One of the reasons I wanted to join the Church he pastored is because I thought I could learn a lot about the art of preaching from him. But nonetheless I was rejected, what was my response? I sought God’s Word and I prayed vigorously about it—no, I didn’t take my ball and go home. I stayed there in this particular Church and endured all the rejection I had coming to me because I realized that it was not coming from flesh and blood, I realized that it was the devil’s attempt to make me give up all together. Sometimes we are rejected because of an anointing that we have been given, sometimes it has nothing to do with you; it’s simply because you have something that others want.
Rejection is one of the devil’s favorite tools to use against people. He’s always going about planting seeds of rejection, but the devil is a liar because he really has no power over us when we know who we are in Christ. The old folk used to say that, “God doesn’t make any junk” and the text deals with our response to being rejected and gives us some insight as to how we can and should deal with it. In the text, Jesus goes back to preach and teach in his own hometown, and the people there—his own neighbors—refuse to accept his teaching. Mind you, it’s not like they aren’t listening to the message—they are. They acknowledge that he is speaking with wisdom and acting with power, but they reject him anyway! They got hung up over His social status. They were no different than today’s Church because in today’s Church social status is a big thing, in fact it is a very very big thing.