We are fasting/praying Monday (again!) for God to give the gift of marriage to those who desire it, work change in men, and work change in us. We’re praying for a fresh wave of God-honoring relationships that lead to God-honoring marriages.
A few weeks ago a friend told me about her 9-year-old nephew’s reaction to not getting picked for a sports team at school: “It was like they reached in, grabbed my heart, ripped it out, threw it on the ground and stomped on it!” Who can’t relate to his (albeit dramatic) response to rejection? Probably everyone among us has felt the pain of having our “heart stomped on” — especially in the area of romantic relationships.
This is Holy Week. Today Jesus was cheered by crowds waving palms; on Friday he faced the ultimate rejection — crucifixion. A dramatic turn-around in just a few short days. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering (Isaiah 53:3). This morning’s sermon at my church was “What do you do when faced with rejection?” — and I wanted to share the main points. They are simple, but helpful words.
1) Know that Jesus relates to the pain of rejection (Mark 14:64-65; 15:1). It is healing to know that he relates to our rejection, that he understands. He has experienced it himself.
2) When rejected, let others help you. God’s help often comes through God’s people (Mark 15:21; Hebrews 4:15; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5). So often when we are in pain we want to retreat and hold others at arms’ length; resist this temptation. Let the strength of others strengthen you. Don’t withdraw.
3) When rejected, resist the temptation to become bitter — forgive and focus on others (Mark 15:22-28; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53:4-5). The best medicine for our wounded hearts is often looking around to see who else needs care — and then offering it. Resist the temptation to sink into self-centeredness. Look for how you can help someone else.
During this Holy Week, whatever place your heart is in, may God draw near to you and meet you.