Rejection is a big deal. It is a major fear that most people have. We do not like being told “no.” I’ve learned that one of the reasons why it’s hard to tell people “no” is because we may have a hard time receiving a “no.”
But could it be that the reason why we are so afraid of a two-letter word is because we have conditioned our minds to believe that life is over when the rejection comes? This is simply not true. There is life on the other side of “no.”
You see, anyone God used in the Bible, even if they were not specifically told “no,” they were treated like a “no.” Look at David. When the Prophet Samuel was given an instruction from God to go and anointed the next king, David’s Father, Jesse, pulled out all his sons to meet the Prophet except for David. Can you imagine what David must have felt like? He was rejected by his Father. All his brothers were there to meet the prophet to potentially be the next king, but he was left forgotten in the pasture with the sheep. But the one who was rejected was the one who was anointed to become king!
Matthew 21:42 (GNT) says, “Jesus said to them, “Haven't you ever read what the Scriptures say? ‘The stone which the builders rejected as worthless turned out to be the most important of all. This was done by the Lord; what a wonderful sight it is!’” The stone here is referred to as Jesus. He knows what it feels like to be rejected. He came unto His own and they received Him not (John 1:11). He was not honored in His own country (Matthew 13:57).
“No” did not stop Jesus from going to the cross and fulfilling His assignment. “No” did not stop Him from being who He was called to be. Therefore, if “no” could not stop Jesus, it should not be able to stop us. The assignment He has given us originated in the Spirit. Therefore, it outlasts betrayal, abandonment, and pain. There is indeed life on the other side of “no.”
Meekness has gotten a bad rap in the culture of this world. People say, “don’t let them run over you. I wouldn’t take that if I were you.” But as a Christian, this is not what the Bible declares. Matthew 5:5 says, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” The Passion Translation says it this way, “What blessing comes to you when gentleness lives in you! For you will inherit the earth.”
Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit. It is evidence that God’s Spirit lives in us (Galatians 5:22-23). “Meek” in this verse not only means “gentleness,” but it also means, “to be mild.” Mild means, “not bitter, or harsh.”
The world will tell us to get people told, to give them a piece of our minds, but doing this shows that our hearts are bitter. Yes, people and situations can make us angry, but we do not have to be driven by anger. The Word says, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26). Anger is an emotion the Lord knows about, but He does not desire anger to control us to the point where we make rash decisions and anger turns us into another person.
Remember, the world has a culture and the Kingdom has one too. As believers, we must daily depend on the Holy Spirit to help us shed the culture of this world and walk in the culture of the Kingdom of God. Meekness is a manifestation of following Christ.
There will be times the Holy Spirit will tell us not to say things in a harsh way, or simply not to say anything at all. Our pride and flesh will not agree with His instructions, but just because that happens does not mean God is wrong and we are right. God knows everything and following His instructions puts us in a place of safety. So, according to Scripture, meekness causes us to inherit the earth. That is not so shallow or weak after all.
Many may know of the show called, “Hoarders.” I know we can cringe when we see rooms stacked up to the ceiling with stuff that will not be used. And because of all the clutter it leaves room for rodents to find a home there. Sounds horrific, right? But some of our souls look like that, full of clutter and attracting infection.
The thing about clutter is that it makes us feel like we have company. We keep certain numbers to call just in case. We keep clothes because they hold memories (even if the memories are toxic). And because we do not see ourselves past our past, we will hide in its clutter and settle for a false façade of safety.
See, grieving does not just take place at a funeral; grieving is when we do not see ourselves beyond our past. It is when we celebrate who we used to be, not understanding that God has more for us. Yes, we may have been the great cheerleader or athlete in high school. We may have had a great shape and was popular back in the day. But just because we are evolving does not mean there is no purpose to fulfil. Because there’s still breath in our bodies there’s still purpose in our lives.
What are you holding on to that has cluttered your soul and clouded your vision of who God says you are? Receive God’s grace to see beyond the familiar, who you used to be, and embrace who you are in Him. We are waiting on you…
Many of us have made the statement, “if I get this, I will be so happy!” We fix our eyes on a new house, a new car, maybe completing a task. But the problem comes when we receive what we said would make us happy, only to find out that the happiness lasted only for a few weeks after. And then we settle back into living a sad, disappointed and frustrated life all over again until we fix our eyes on something else to be happy about when we get it. And the cycle continues.
So if we keep aiming for things to be happy about and the “high” only lasts for a few weeks, the issue is deeper. I believe the issue is discontentment for life itself. We thought that having more things would make us happy, all to discover that it is not things that can do the job. Discontentment brings with it so many things, disappointment, frustration and being unfulfilled to name a few.
I know this can be a bitter pill to swallow, but our lives were never meant to be fulfilled by things. Our lives were meant to be fulfilled by God. The Lord did not say we could not have things; He just does not want things having us. Matthew 6:19-20 says, “Don’t keep hoarding for yourselves earthly treasures that can be stolen by thieves. Material wealth eventually rusts, decays, and loses its value. Instead, stockpile heavenly treasures for yourselves that cannot be stolen and will never rust, decay, or lose their value.” (TPT). Heavenly treasures in this verse gives us the indication that they are not measured the same way material wealth is. Heavenly treasures do not have to be received only when we get to Heaven; they are derived and ordained in Heaven. To name a few, peace of mind, Godly identity, and fulfilling purpose are some of those treasures. Things cannot give us this, though we have tried a long time to be defined by them.
I believe the reason for temporary happiness is that deep inside, we know what we desired is not enough. We need something more. But because we live in a world that feeds us the notion that things equate being happy, we must depend on the Holy Spirit to show us what it truly means to live.
So ask the Holy Spirit to show you the bottleneck in your heart that is keeping you from living a fulfilled life. Do you know who you are in Him? Are you secure in that identity? Do you find yourself under the pressure to prove to people because you are afraid you will not be taken seriously? Allow Holy Spirit to reveal to you what is causing your contentment to be held up. He is a wonderful counselor.
Independence is celebrated and valued. It is taught by parents to their children, so they do not need anyone to depend on to make a life for themselves. It is taught by teachers to students, so they can think for themselves and not rely on the work of their classmates. Independence is self-reliance and self-sufficiency. It means that you assume all responsibility to provide, cultivate and nurture a life for yourself. You assume all rewards and take all losses. But there is an independence that is not so healthy.
This, what I call “unhealthy independence,” is derived from experiencing abusive, toxic relationships. It is a learned behavior based on painful past events of people dumping their issues on us with no intentions or sign of helping us through our challenging moments. It speaks the language of, “I will do it by myself. I don’t need anyone else.” It suspiciously looks at help as an insult because it trained our minds to expect that those who seek to help us usually has a string or two attached to their Samaritan efforts.
Unhealthy independence wears us out. It is afraid to receive help from others. It is prideful. It will have us struggle in silence when the very help we need is in reliable people around us. But it does not have to be this way.
Unhealthy independence must be unlearned. We must choose to believe that every person is not like our past traumatic experiences, and there are some great people in our lives. We must believe that receiving help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength, trust and vulnerability. We do not have to do life alone. It was not meant to be that way.