Friday, November 1, 2013

rejected...to be or not to be?

Whether blatant or subtle, purposeful or unknowing, deserved or unwarranted, that sharp blade on the dagger of rejection still cuts deep and stings.  That same glistening blade may be disguised in a shiny smile, but all the same, the reflection in it sends the message that something is wrong with you, you are flawed, unwanted, unlikeable, have messed up one too many times, or just plain don't measure up.  Or perhaps this is the case for someone you love.  Which makes the pain drive even deeper.  For when you hold someone close to your heart, especially your own flesh and blood, their rejection becomes your own.

Rejection in this world, it's a given.  And it can become an unruly fan in your heart if you let it...causing seeds of bitterness, doubt, insecurity, questioned worth, and defeat to take root.  Wiping your holy confidence right off of the playbook.  But rejection from the Maker of this world, not a chance.  In Him, we find an opposing stance.  For True love bears all things, and keeps no record of wrongs.  He pursues and chases.  He chooses us for His team and equips us with strength to be victors.  And He cheers us on, champions us, and delights in us despite our imperfect record.

In our flesh, we fail in our ability to love this way, and fall short of it daily.  I know I do.  But, I find comfort in the One who never fails.  Our Heavenly Father understands this cruel and brutal ache, as His own Son was rejected in His hometown and by those who knew Him well. And best.  His neighbors.  Friends.  Family.  (“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown..." Luke 4:24)  And just as we may hurt when rejection knocks on the doorstep of our heart (or the hearts of our children and the ones we love and know best), it pains Him too.  I'm thankful we have a Savior who is not unfamiliar to this.

Sometimes it feels that in the scoreboard of life others are just waiting to mark another tally of wrong and penalty to your side.  That no matter how many right plays you make, or good you do, the things remembered and counted are the instances and moves in which you fumbled and fell short of a field goal.  A sure lose.

I have a hard time reconciling the fact that when it comes to receiving grace, we are often at the front of the line, palms cupped, open-faced,  eagerly asking for a second helping.  Yet when it comes to extending grace to others, even believers, we stingily white-knuckle it and deem the person unworthy of even a crumb.  Perhaps it's a form of self-preservation, but I don't think we are called to love this way.  And this saddens me, because I've been on both the giving and receiving end of this.  In our own strength, we are powerless to love, forgive, and offer grace as He does.  But a believer knows we aren't called to walk in our own strength, but to tap into His.  And in Him, there is always room for second helpings.  70 X 7 helpings.

In my disheartedness, as I took this poisonous thought of rejection to the Lord, a great truth occurred to me, took my eyes off of the pressing hurt, and allowed me to rise above it with a heart of gratitude.  I'm going to fall short again.  I will fail others.  My kids will too.  I expect this.  And I'm also OK with this.  I'm not aiming for perfection, but I'm honestly striving daily to keep my eyes on the One who Is perfection.  And as long as I continue on that long road of obedience, there is grace enough for all the stumbling.

I also know that no matter how much good I am able to do in this lifetime, it would never be enough.  No amount of good could ever cover over all of the "wrongs" that we can't make "right" ourselves.  But grace does.  And it comes in the form of nail-pierced hands spread about a cross.  It makes right everything, and everyone, through forgiveness, salvation, and His wondrous story of redemption.  And proof of the empty tomb and resurrected life offers us Hope for a lifetime. For eternity.  My heart shouts in thankfulness for this gift.  And I was surprised to find that a thankful heart can blur and put distance between our hurts and struggles.  Chases them right into yesterday.  So I rest in this.

That beautiful, undeserving, undeniable graces comes and covers.  It dulls the rejection of others, suturing up those bleeds of the heart.  His throne is a place of acceptance and approachability to come as you are.  And when your ugly imperfections and unfavored tally marks on the scoreboard seem to be under a scrutinizing JumboScreen by others, He looks upon you and is enthralled by your beauty (Psalm 45:11).  For He sees us with eyes of intention and potential.  Clothed in His jersey of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10).  A sure win.

John 6:37
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” 

Romans 15:7
“Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” 

Philippians 2:3
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves."

Colossians 3:12-14
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony."

I Corinthians 13:4-7
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

Rejected...to be or not to be? I guess it all depends on what side of the field you are choosing to stand.  Today, I choose His.

2 comments:

  1. A very poetically stated truth: "I have a hard time reconciling the fact that when it comes to receiving grace, we are often at the front of the line, palms cupped, open-faced, eagerly asking for a second helping. Yet when it comes to extending grace to others, even believers, we stingily white-knuckle it and deem the person unworthy of even a crumb."

    This is an age-old problem. Think of Matthew 18. Very good post. We all need a healthy dose of gratitude, don't we?

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    1. We most certainly do Warren! Unfortunately, sometimes the best way for us to have gratitude and grace is to have walked through seasons and circumstances that were lacking it. It's painful at the time, but if lifts blinders and makes us more compassionate and grace/gratitude filled than had we not walked through the struggle.

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