Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
February 5, 2012
Moving beyond rejection is not easy and impossible without help
Rejection can be hell. It has the power to bring down the best of us. It can handcuff us, demoralize us and cause us to give up. Whether we admit it or not the affirmation of other people is a basic need of all normal people. To lose the acceptance of the people who are important to you is always devastating.
Condemnation from people you love is no doubt the worst kind of rejection. Few people can live well without the encouragement and support of at least one or two friends. Yet some of us are ready to denounce the bad behavior of a person who has developed the habit of failure. And our rejection can push the struggling person deeper into the pit of despair.
Climbing out of the hell of rejection is not easy and it is impossible without the help of someone with the gift of mercy. That “someone” can be God whose mercy is fresh every morning. The person who has failed morally must first seek and embrace God’s forgiveness. This is true because our sins are first and foremost “against God,” as King David said, even though people have been hurt by our sins. And to find lasting peace, after accepting God’s mercy, we must also ask forgiveness from those persons harmed by our sins.
So how does a person recover from rejection and move on? First, realize that everybody fails at one time or another. No one is perfect. Failure is part of the fabric of life. It will help to acknowledge that you have failed and may truly deserve the pain of rejection. But your life is not over unless you choose to let it be over.
You have another choice. You can forgive yourself, accept God’s forgiveness and seek the forgiveness of those hurt by your failure. Then you can get up and walk on! You need not wallow in the misery and self-pity of your pain and disappointment. You can start over again!
Remind yourself that you are not the first person to be rejected for failing. Read a bit of history and note how many others failed but found the courage to begin again. They leaped over rejection. The list is endless. Thomas Edison failed hundreds of times but he refused to quit trying. Babe Ruth had almost twice as many strikeouts as he did home runs. The Ford Motor Company gave us the Edsel, a colossal failure, but the company is still producing Ford cars and trucks.
Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade and lost many elections but he kept bouncing back until he became Prime Minister of England. Beethoven’s teacher said he was hopeless; now his nameless teacher is known only for that glaring mistake! Albert Einstein could not read until he was seven and his teacher described him as “mentally slow.” Walt Disney was fired for “a lack of ideas” and went bankrupt several times before creating Disneyland.
Refuse to say “I am a failure.” Instead admit that you are a person who has failed. While you have failed you need not sit and whine; you can rise up and walk into a new future. The God who created you will help you. Take Him at his word: “When you seek me with all your heart you will find me.”
If the important people in your life have given up on you, forgive them and move on. Refuse to give up on yourself. Find one or two other people who will believe in you and encourage you to recover. Care about them. Do kind things for them. Get busy making a difference in their lives. The more you do that, the less time you will have to fret about the past. Bury your pain and make a new start! Graves are useful; dig one for your rejection. Pain can be beneficial only if it spurs you to make a new beginning!
Someone once described the Christian life like this: “We fall down and we get up, we fall down and we get up, and we keep falling down and getting up all the way to heaven!” That is how I see it too. So what is keeping you? Get up and go again! Then one day soon your fresh new joy will be far more real than the pain of failure and rejection and there will be a smile on your face instead of tears on your cheeks. Go for it! + + +