Have you ever?
Have you ever felt left out and rejected?
Have you ever had a friend who you thought was a really close one, until you realise you weren't invited to one of their recent parties?
Have you ever been scrolling through facebook or instagram and see a few friends out and you weren't invited?
Have you ever thought for hours on an invite list trying to include everyone til you realise that so many of these people don't do the same for you and so you feel defeated?
Not invited. They are two words that can sting. For days you can be ruminating on the aching pain of rejection and you're not sure who to turn to as you wonder 'who really is my friend?'
If you've ever been there, I feel you. I've been blessed to receive many invitations throughout my years but there have been times when I have felt rejected and left out, confused about who really are my true friends.
With things like social media there are so many more opportunities for us to sink into discontentment and we forget about our already blossoming friendships. There will often be times when I have had a lovely catch up with a dear sister and then later on that day I would be scrolling instagram and see people catching up and instantly feel jealous or compare my own friendships. The joy and contentment from the morning had instantly diminished.
A Godly response
So what is the biblical and godly response to these feelings of rejection? God gives us many promises to turn to and comfort us in times of loneliness. But he also commands us to be content in all circumstances. As Paul writes in Philippians 4, he 'learnt' how to be content in all circumstances. Paul knew a great deal of rejection, much more than many of us will ever face. It helps me to remember this as I know not getting an invitation to a friend's party would've been one of Paul's smaller concerns.
Having said this, Jesus and his disciples, like Paul and Peter, did enjoy friendships and there's evidence in the bible of friendships not always going the way both parties would like them to go. God enjoys friendship and made us for it; sin causes us to get hurt in these friendships and so we need comforting. God's word reminds us that He will heal our broken hearts, bind our wounds, and that he'll never leave or forsake us.
God's word also encourages us with promises of friendship like the one found in Proverbs.
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs chapter 18, verse 24). With this verse in mind, let's remember all the times God has answered our prayers and given us close, dear, and loyal friends that will stick by us for many years to come.
Lastly, I feel it is very appropriate to remember the rejection Jesus experienced during his lifetime, on his cross and the rejection he still receives to this day. He was rejected by the pharisees, by the Jews, and by HIS FRIENDS who had said they loved him and would never leave him!
But ultimately, Jesus suffered the greatest rejection that could ever be faced when his own father, Father God, turned his face away from him on the cross. When we imagine this picture, we become ashamed to think we were even concerned or upset about the bitterness we have felt when not being invited somewhere. We see how infinitely minuscul and finite our rejection is compared to our Jesus who suffered the worst rejection ever to be faced.
We can also remember that because of what Jesus has done for us, we will never face the rejection of God again. As it says in 1st Samuel,
For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own (1 Samuel chapter 12, verse 22).
So, I'd like to encourage you, next time you feel tempted to feel rejected, remember the God who was rejected for you and how that rejection led to you being free to never have to feel rejection ever again!
Courtesy of Press Service International