One of the greatest deterrents to effective leadership and the fulfillment of our purpose is the fear of rejection! If we are honest what others think and how they respond to our decisions often times weighs heavily on our hearts and can influence the decisions we make. John 6:60-69 (Go ahead and read it! We’ll wait on you…) are some of my favorite verses of scripture because we see Jesus walking through rejection like a hot knife through butter! I realize how rich this section of scripture is but it is verses 60-69 of John 6 that I would like to focus on for a moment because fear of rejection is one of the most crippling ailments for any leader! (Remember everyone is leading someone! Everyone is following someone! The quality of your leadership is dependent on the one you follow!)
The question I would like to pose is this, “How did Jesus handle so much rejection and stay focused?” Rejection, especially by those who are close to you, often times feels like you were stabbed in the gut! How did Jesus walk through it? How in the world could Jesus watch so many people walk away rejecting his teaching and not freak out and go after them? He even looks at the ones left, that He’s the closest to, and says…”You want to go too?!”
There are two reasons Jesus was able to do this. The first is that He sought and found His approval in what His Father thought and not in what others thought! (Look at John 6:27 and Luke 3:21, 22). Jesus knew His Father, our Heavenly Father, was pleased with Him and IT WAS ENOUGH! My heart aches for all the people that I talk to who CAN NOT accept the fact that God has set His approval on them because of Jesus! It is not based on our past, our talents, or our knowledge! (And remember that God now desires to work out of us the perfection He’s given us through Christ…This is called sanctification!) It is based on our faith in Jesus for our salvation! Everything that we are not…He is! I believe Jesus would say it this way, “Everything you aren’t…I AM”. We will never be able to deal with rejection until we allow the truth that God has set His approval on us (that includes YOU!) through Jesus to sink deeply into our heart!
Second, Jesus knew He had a mission to fulfill and His eyes were set firmly on the finish line! He was determined to run the race set before Him and He was determined to stay in His lane! He couldn’t run the race that His Father wanted Him to run and run the race everyone else wanted Him to run as well! If He had run the race others wanted Him to run He would have ended up as a militant messiah ruling over an earthly kingdom! The cross would have never happened and we would all still be stuck in our sin! But Jesus was focused on the task at hand! Think about it this way…If you opened a restaurant to serve Chinese food and a customer came in and wanted Mexican would you adjust your entire menu to please that customer? What about the next person that wanted Italian and the next one that wanted a cheeseburger? You wouldn’t last long in the restaurant business operating that way and the same is true for our spiritual lives! Rejection is overcome when we realize we have a race to run for God’s Kingdom and we set our mind that come hell or high water we are going to run His race…not the one others want us to run!
When we see God’s approval of us in Christ and we set our mind to run the race He has laid out before us we can overcome the fear of rejection. When we begin to fear (revere and be in awe of) God more than we fear the rejection of others things become crystal clear! We see who we are in Christ and the race God has for us becomes infinitely more important than the race others want us to run!
SEE YOU SUNDAY! I REALLY BELIEVE IT IS GOING TO BE INCREDIBLE!