If you’re not rejected at least three times a week, you’re not really trying.
I have the above quote tacked on a cork board in my office. It came from something intended to encourage writers. It caught my eye recently as I was sitting with God pondering the unusual amount of rejection I’ve encountered regarding my perspective of life and God.
Writing is basically sharing what we see, either as witness to facts or our imagination. According to Acts 1:8, after receiving the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be witnesses of Jesus.
We know not everyone is going to want to hear our ideas of Jesus. Scripture is clear that we will be persecuted and rejected. For most of us in the western culture, we assume that means those in foreign countries who are not free to worship as we do. Or maybe it refers to the minor blows to our ego or finances that occur in this country.
The rejection I’ve encountered over the past 2 ½ years has come from Christian leaders. It drives me to deeper questions of what it means to be a Christian and more specifically, a Christian leader.
I love William Young’s dialogue between God and the main character in The Shack. I don’t remember which person of the Trinity Mack was talking to but God basically says “Jesus is not a Christian.” It seems many who claim to have a Christian faith are trying to be “Christian” more than submitting to Christ. I’ve been guilty of this myself.
Looking back at the interesting confrontations of the past couple years, I’ve discovered that my attempts to be fully submitted to Christ causes friction with some Christians – or should I say “religious leaders.” Funny, that’s who gave Jesus the most trouble too.
In John 15:7, Jesus says “if they persectued me, they will persecute you.” So, as a follower of Christ, if I’m not rejected by religious leaders regularly, I’m not really trying. Well now, that makes rejection sound quite positive!
This post is intended to encourage those experiencing rejection from well meaning Christian leaders. It is not meant to condemn those doing the rejecting. Those who have rejected my ideas have not questioned my relationship with Christ. None of us fully understand yet and I just happen to be one that likes to explore the unknown. Therefore, being a Christian is not defined by what I do, it is defined by who is in me. Romans 8:9 “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”
Whether you are rejecting others ideas or being rejected, remember this:
The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:17-18