Charles Simeon is a fascinating character study in rejection. Six years before Captain Cook sailed into Port Jackson, Simeon was an unloved English minister placed in a church where the people wanted someone else and they weren’t afraid to show it. Over a ten year period the congregation tried various things including locking the doors of the church and the family pews. His evangelical heart never resounded with his established audience and there is evidence showing that conflict continued until his death.
Here are some thoughts for people who are feeling rejected:
You can forgive because you are forgiven. The parable of the forgiven servant resonates during times of rejection. When you are forgiven in Christ – how much more can you forgive someone who is rejecting you?
You can fortify the soul. I often think of personal attacks in the context of a castle. Personal attacks that come through word of mouth by other people run straight through the main gates into the castle keep. These attacks can be belittling, petulant, and downright mean. Start by fortifying the soul with your sufficiency in Christ.
Choose your counsel wisely. You should read Macbeth by William Shakespeare – it’s a good character study in how family advice can turn a bad situation into a tragedy. Stirring up the problem without looking for a solution feels good at the time but ultimately it won’t resolve anything (kind of like picking a scab!). Walk through the historical books in the Old Testament or Proverbs to see how true friends help you with rejection.
It may not be resolved – God knows. The crowd rejected Jesus Christ and chose Barrabus. Yet this was a part of God’s plan that even the disciples could not comprehend until Pentecost. God’s work is mysterious – but he will fulfill his purpose.