Saturday, February 2, 2008

Something Worse Than Rejection

Rejection is an inevitable part of life. No one wants it to happen and yet everyone has experienced its venomous bite. But rejection really isn’t our biggest problem.

The fear of rejection is our real nemesis. We like things to be safe, tidy and predictable. It’s probably the number one reason why Christians choose large church gatherings over learning to enter into people's lives at more than a pleasant, “Hi, it’s good to see you again,” level of relationship.

Overcoming our fear of rejection is not typically a high priority for most people. We create situations where we think that we can’t be rejected. We wear the right clothes and say whatever is politically correct at the moment. We get into jobs that promise safety and security and end up giving up freedom for the modern day equivalence of slavery. Why? Not rejection but the fear of rejection.

Failure is obviously closely associated with why we’re rejected. In our shame based society, if you say or do something that even looks like failure, rejection is sure to follow. You can do 100 things right and yet when that failure happens, sure enough that’s what you are labeled with and rejected for.

Success is the other side of the coin when considering the potential for rejection. It’s ok to do well but don’t go overboard with success because people may become jealous and reject you. Bask in the safety of mediocrity, don’t risk anything and you will never taste the bitter fruit of rejection. We can never really insulate ourselves from some form of rejection but many people would rather spend most of their creative time and energy to create safe ways of not really living or caring.

Christians say they love Jesus and yet the survey says that they never talk to anyone about Him because of their fear of rejection. They say they want to be like Him and yet one of the things that Jesus willingly entered into was being despised and rejected. He was rejected for being too good, too unpredictable, too caring, too demanding, too accepting, too harsh, too unreligious: anything other than accepting the status quo.

How do you overcome your fear of rejection? Step out, fail or succeed, get rejected, evaluate, learn and/or change and then repeat the process over again.

The speed and scope of your success and freedom will be proportional to the number of opportunities that you create to overcome your fear of rejection.

No comments: