Did you know that you won’t die if people don’t like you? I have been reflecting on this a lot the last few weeks as I have been thinking about friendships that have ended.
Sometimes the rejection of others is our protection… and other times it is because we have a lesson to learn. For me, it’s a lesson I seem to be learning over and over since losing Ben as I learn to have my own voice and sometimes that comes at the disapproval of others.
It has been an emotional week and I wanted nothing more to stay in bed this morning. But I woke up and knew it would make me feel better to worship and spend time in the Word.
As soon as worship ended, I knew why I was there. Pastor Morris’ message was on The Thief of Devotion. And how when we let fear into our lives it keeps us from living in complete devotion to Christ.
Fear comes in many forms… and one of those is rejection. When we fear being rejected, we spend our time worshiping acceptance. But the thing is, we are already accepted. Scripture says we don’t have to do or say anything to be accepted. When we fear the rejection of others we will do or say anything to gain their approval. But the only acceptance we need is from Jesus.
There are friends who I have a hard time speaking up to because I am afraid of being rejected. Our number one need in life is to be loved and accepted. So rejection can really hurt, even when it is by people who do not accept us as we are.
The second fear he talked about was the fear of failure. And if that does not go hand and hand with rejection for me, nothing does. Being rejected by others feels like failure. It makes me feel like I have failed at relationships again. And makes me question what is wrong with me and why I just can’t get it right.
But when we spend our time fearing failure, we worship success. And sometimes the success we are fighting for is not the success that the kingdom has for us. We make success our master. And we can’t serve two masters. Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
It’s time for me to rewrite the narrative. To stop feeling rejected by people and to stop feeling like a failure if acceptance never comes. I am accepted by the One who matters and in His eyes I am already a success.
So there we have it. The reason I was in church this morning… I don’t know if you struggle with the need for the approval of others or the need to succeed, but if you do, I encourage you to listen to today’s sermon from Gateway Church.