None of what follows is written as if I am an expert on the subject I am writing about, it is just one south Alabama boy’s interpretation of life as I understand it. Even if you are not a Christian, I believe that you will benefit from what I advocate at the end.
Sometimes I wake up with my mind in gear and running at full speed. Often I am thinking about what I need to do today, most likely something I have neglected. Other times I may have a new idea on how to tackle an old problem. And then occasionally, I wake up with a revelation that clearly defines something that I did not understand to this point. Sunday, January 4, 2015 was a morning for the latter.
Please forgive me but I believe that revelation of something that I never knew before comes from someone more intelligent than me, someone who knew I needed it, someone who loves me unconditionally, and that someone is God the creator of this wonderful world we live in.
During this early hour, God opened my eyes and gave me a glimpse at what Jesus endured during His brief time on earth. Not only was He rejected among men, he was also DESPISED by the very people He lived and ultimately died for.
I believe the reason God revealed this is to help me better empathize with other people who have been ostracized from their family or circle of friends.
Many families are broken apart—some members rejected and despised—for countless reasons or misunderstandings. Mine is not to judge why they are where they are but to be in prayerful sympathy for them and to continue to offer support and forgiveness. It is God’s job to bring the conviction that will cause hearts to change.
The scripture predicted that Jesus would not be received by all, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3 KJV)
I learned about rejection in the mid-seventies when we attended Bayview Heights Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama. No, it was not my first experience with rejection, it was just the first time I had it diagnosed & defined to me. Pastor Sam Phillips preached about it and both he and his wife, Gloria, taught about it. They helped me understand that it is natural for all of us to feel rejected from time to time.
I learned that when people do not like me and openly reject me it affects me but it only becomes a real problem when I turn inward and dwell on it. It is really not a big deal if someone I encounter ignores me or does not want a friendship with me. Frankly, there are some people we like from the moment we meet and others that we never seem to have a connection with. It is a natural way that we choose friends and develop long term relationships.
My wife, Carolyn, is the first person who I recognized that truly accepted me for who I am. Her belief in me instead of focusing on the things in me that may have turned others away caused me to begin understanding myself. Note, I have since recognized that many others had loved and accepted me and I have since worked to cultivate those relationships as well.
Back to rejection. I have received consistent and unwarranted rejection from a number of people throughout my life. Not just from some who have no reason to develop a connection with me but also from some who should desire to be a part of my life.
It is hard for me to believe that I have been rejected by so many but not nearly as tough as when I realized that I am despised by a certain few. What have I done to be so hated? I freely admit that I may have done some pretty bad things but nothing—I believe—that should be unforgivable.
It is bad enough when people reject us as a result of our own actions but it is something quite different when they discard us outright with no apparent reason and then when they start believing something that is not true to maintain their position it becomes an immovable obstacle to healing relationships.
Despicable me! Don’t feel sorry for me. Love me. God will touch the hearts of all and many will change their position toward me, others may not.
How would I understand God without realizing that Jesus came to offer hope to His people, the Jewish nation, but so many rejected Him and even despised Him that our Father turned to us an undeserving world, and adopted us into His family.
Our Father simply said to all who would hear and believe that Jesus Christ is His Son, sent from heaven to save us from ourselves, to us He gave the power to become His sons. We have been adopted into His heavenly family and have been lifted to the status of being a brother to Jesus.
Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” (Luke 13:34 KJV)
To those who may have people in your life that you look down on with contempt even to the point that you loathe them or think of them as worthless. Please consider the harm that you are doing to yourself and ask our Father to instill forgiveness in you. It will free you to better understand our Father.
If you are on the receiving end of rejection or hatred, forgive them and pray for them. Ask our Father to remind them of your love for them. You don’t have to be perfect, only accessible.
I lift up all who read these words and I pray for healed relationships in your life in Jesus’ name.
Wayne Brady 1/7/2015