514 rejectionAs a child, we used to play dodgeball, volleyball or football. Before we could play together, we formed two teams. First, two captains were selected, who alternately selected players. First, the best players were chosen for the team and at the end those remained, which played no major role. To be elected last was very humiliating. Not to be among the first was a sign of rejection and an expression of being unwanted.

We live in a world of rejection. We all have experienced it one way or another. Maybe you were rejected as a shy boy on a date. Maybe you applied for a job, but you did not receive it. Or you got the job, but your boss laughed at your ideas and suggestions. Maybe your dad left your family. Either you have been constantly abused as a child or you have heard that what they have done is not enough. Maybe you were always the last one selected for the team. It is even worse if you were not even allowed to play in the team. What are the consequences of feeling like a failure?

Deeply experienced rejection can lead to personality disorders such as unjustified anxiety, inferiority feelings or depression. Rejection makes you feel unwanted, unnoticed and unloved. They focus on the negative instead of the positive and respond to simple comments. When someone says, "Today, your hair does not look good," you might think, "What did she mean by that? Does she mean that my hair always looks lousy? "It can make you think you are rejected even though you do not despise anyone, but you feel that rejection. This perception becomes your reality. If you think you are a failure, act like a loser.

You are not alone if you feel this rejection. Jesus was rejected by those in his hometown (Mt 13,54-58), many of his disciples (Joh 6,66), and those he came to save (Isaiah 53,3). Even before Jesus walked among us, God was rejected. After all that God had done for the Israelites, they wanted to be ruled by a king and not by him (1, Sam 10,19). Rejection is nothing new to God.

God has made us accept, not reject. That's why he never rejects us. We can reject God, but he will not reject us. Jesus loves us so much that he died for us before we chose him (Rom 5,8). "God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but to save the world through him" (Joh 3,17 LUT). "I do not want to leave you and not leave you" (Hebr 13,5 LUT).

The good news is that God has chosen you to be in his team and even child in his family. "Because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, calling: Abba, dear Father" (Gal 4,5-7). It does not matter what skills you have, because if you let Jesus live in you, he will take care of everything. You are a winner, not a loser! All you should do is accept this truth, emerge and be ready to participate in the game of life. You are a valuable member of the winning team.

by Barbara Dahlgren