Rejection and Acceptance
Come and hear, all of you who reverence the Lord, and I will tell you what he did for me. For I cried to him for help, with praises ready on my tongue. He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. But he listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it!
Blessed be God who didn't turn away when I was praying, and didn't refuse me his kindness and love.
Psalm 66:16-20 (TLB)
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Don't judge by a man's face or height, for this is not the one. I don't make decisions the way you do! Men judge by outward appearance, but I look at a man's thoughts and intentions."
1 Samuel 16:7 (TLB)
Bill Pike, from Virginia, enjoys tinkering with words. There is no better feeling than when a piece he has written is accepted by an editor, and it hurts to receive a rejection notice. But that hurt is nothing compared to the hurt we feel when rejected by someone we know.
We all are different. Yet, deep inside each of us is the desire to be accepted. We want to fit in, we want to be heard, and we want to be understood. Bill is an imperfect Christian. He remembers times when he has not accepted or understood people in his encounters. He is sure his rejection hurt them.
Jesus loved people who were rejected by society. He demonstrated for us how we should live -especially when we encounter a person who is struggling to find acceptance. The last sentence in 1 Samuel 16:7 offers time-tested wisdom: "People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
As we look to improve our hearts and our interactions with people who are searching for acceptance, we can be encouraged by Psalm 66:20: "Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!"
Prayer: Father of us all, help us to see people's hearts and not just their outward appearance. Help us to love like Jesus, for we ask this in His precious name. Amen.