I felt like a lamb led to the slaughter. I was going to a social event and I was aware that someone would be there who did not like me. I know that sounds very grade school-ish, but come on, girls, be real….we all want to be liked. But there are times when God will require us to go into situations where we are not accepted. It is a really hard thing to do, and it takes a lot of guts. Frankly, I was scared.
Being liked and loved is a basic human need. Do you remember as a child how scary it was on the school playground wondering who would play with you? Or the lunchroom, not knowing who would sit with you and share your meal? Or when teams were chosen for baseball or kickball, and you didn’t want to be chosen last? We crave friendships. We all want to be liked. By everyone!
But life does not happen that way. God, being a creative person, created a variety of personalities, and sometimes personalities don’t “click.” We rub each other the wrong way, and we don’t see the best in one another. I wish we could just avoid being around those who don’t like us, but that is not a workable solution.
As I prepared for this social occasion, I was leaning heavily on the Lord for strength. I did a lot of praying, and I sent a flurry of text messages to my friends asking for prayer. When I was in the bathroom getting ready, I searched for my flashy jewelry and shakily applied my lip gloss. I was trying to use my outer appearance to console my inner breaking heart.
Observing from the sidelines, Rejection had its own cheering section, casting jeers and lies at me while I got dressed:
“You are unlikable!”
“You deserve her rejection!”
“She does not like you…”
These loud lies were like arrows making their way straight to my already broken heart.
One of the things that Jesus laid aside to come to earth was approval. When He was in heaven, He was liked…loved…even worshiped! He was in a very comfortable position of being accepted and appreciated. I’m sure that God was nice to Him, and the elders and the angels certainly approved of Him, singing sweet songs of holiness to Him day and night!
But Jesus chose to lay aside this acceptance when He came to the earth. John 1:11 says that He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. He knows just what it is like to be rejected, especially by those He loved.
It gets worse. Not only was Jesus rejected, He was also despised and forsaken. Consider Isaiah 53:3:
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Rejected. Despised. Forsaken.
Can you relate? Perhaps you’ve felt like no one likes you. Maybe there is someone who has rejected you. Maybe you’ve struggled with feelings of rejection your whole life. Maybe you, like Jesus, have even felt despised and forsaken, and totally alone.
The beauty of having a Savior who was also a man is that He understands our feelings and emotions. He gets it. He has experienced it. He knows what pain and hurt feels like. I’m so thankful that Jesus knows our pain, for He knows how to comfort us.
When Jesus found me in my bathroom, shaking in fear, reeling in pain, He found me in my moment of rejection and He comforted me. He reminded me that He also knows rejection, and more. In fact, in that cold lonely bathroom, I heard Jesus whisper softly in my ear, “You are in good company.”
Jesus also comes to you in your hurt and your pain. He comforts you with His love. He sends true friends who console you with their words. His unconditional acceptance of you breaks the sting of rejection. And He gives you the strength to lift your chin and to face those who reject you. For you are in good company, too.
As for me, I walked out of my bathroom with lip gloss on my lips but a smile on my face. I was rejected, sure. But I was in good company.