Devotion: Finding Peace After Rejection
April 15, 2020
Devotion provided by Rev. Susan Roddey, Director of Spiritual Life at Abernethy Laurels
“I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:21-24
“Just brush it off”; “She didn’t really mean what she said”; “Don’t be so sensitive”; “You’ll learn from this”; “Don’t take it in”; “Don’t care so much about what people think”; “Just get back up on the horse”: all things people say to us when we feel rejected in some way. We all have to deal with rejection in our lives. For some us who are very secure in who we are, many experiences of rejection just roll off of us and we move on. We may see it as an opportunity to learn something helpful about ourselves or realize the issue is with the other person. But for others of us, we take it very personally, and run the situation through our minds again and again, chewing on it, allowing it to affect us deeply and wear us out. If we experience a lot of rejection, we may start rejecting ourselves. I am one of those sensitive people, although I have gotten much better as I get older. I have learned how totally unproductive it is to let rejection get to me and if I need to learn something I try to do that and then I try to let it go. This takes a lot of prayer sometimes.
Jesus was rejected many times in his ministry, especially by the religious authorities whom many would want to please. Some people don’t realize that Jesus was himself a Jew and that he was not trying to get rid of the Jewish faith but reform it so that it was in line with God’s will. He was the fulfillment of the prophesy of a coming Messiah, yet he was laughed at for claiming his authority from God. What if Jesus had let this rejection shape his identity? What if he had been needing approval to make him feel like he was doing right? He was human; it would have been easy to succumb to such needs. It is no wonder then he would go to a private place regularly and pray to God. His strength to withstand this scorn and rejection had to come from his Father. And like God works again and again, through Jesus’ faithfulness God used what the world discarded, like the stone the builder rejected, to be the chief cornerstone of our faith. Rejection is not a reason for us to wither inside ourselves; rather it is a reason to pray to God that we can hold on to who we are, a precious child of God – an identity no one can take from us.
Prayer: This is the day that you have made, O God of our being. May we be rooted in and rejoice in your infinite love which never rejects us. Grant us the strength like Jesus to claim who we are. Amen.