Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Have You Been Despised, Rejected, Hated?

AS I CONSIDER the possibility that some people – and some Christians – have only ever been ‘popular’ and ‘accepted’, whilst many in this world have learned to live with being despised, rejected and hated, I ponder Jesus in all this. Jesus was the most despised, rejected and hated person that ever lived; if we are to take the last twelve hours of his life as a characterization. Everyone, saving no one, despised him, rejected him, and hated him – even Jesus’ followers did not enjoy what negative attention he drew to them personally.
In a crude analysis, we crucified God – we did it. This truth makes it ever more remarkable that God knew we would. Yet the Godhead loves us so much that the Father gave the Son for us, the Son obeyed to the myriad agony of the cross, and the Spirit testified to his love by making his dwelling in us, by faith in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.
Have you ever been despised, rejected, hated?
For what you stand for, have you ever been despised?
Sometimes God reveals the truth to us and, by the facts of this truth, we become despised – even if in passive aggressive ways by people responding indifferently or by them saying one thing yet meaning another. If we are honest, we will have demonstrated the same indifference or inauthenticity toward some.
In being despised, rather than feeling attacked, we can take it like Jesus did: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
For what you brought to the table, have you ever been rejected?
Acceptance is so important to us relational beings. It coincides, then, that rejection will be like having a wet cod smacked around our faces. It stings to our core. There are many ways of rejection and perhaps the hardest one is that sense of political correctness, that, “No, I’m not rejecting you to your face, but, deep down inside, yes I am.”
Let us not forget the author and perfecter of our faith, our Jesus, was rejected in so many ways in that final twelve hour period, yet he still said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
For who you actually are, have you ever been hated?
The worst of all things against anyone – worse than being despised for what we stand for – worse than being rejected for what we brought to the table – is to be hated for who we actually are.
Be encouraged! Jesus – God incarnate – was not only despised and rejected; he was hated, too. He is hated today – Satan, his angels, and many mortals hate the One of God who came to save the world. Yet, Jesus’ words resonate: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
Though he was despised, rejected, and hated, Jesus’ words resound through eternity: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34). God’s will is for us to follow Jesus’ example when we feel despised, rejected, and hated. It is not only possible; we can forgive them, too!
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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