Today’s Scripture: Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. Mark 6:3–5
The next time you are rejected by people, don’t take it personally. You are in good company. Jesus experienced rejection often. On one occasion, Jesus taught in the synagogue of Nazareth where He grew up as a child. The people were amazed at His teaching, but not enough to pay any attention to His words. All they could think about was the fact that He was the young carpenter they had seen growing up. They felt insulted that such a man of low estate should be teaching them. It didn’t matter that Jesus had told them the truth. They didn’t want to hear it, much less believe it.
After this event, Jesus didn’t second-guess His teaching methods or critique His delivery. He didn’t dwell on the fact that the people didn’t like Him. He just kept on preaching until He found someone who was willing to listen. All the time, He kept His ultimate purpose in view. His next stop from Nazareth was Capernaum, and there the people embraced Him. Still, Jesus didn’t allow His sudden success to distract Him from His purpose. He went on and continued preaching in other towns as well. Whether He was accepted or rejected by the world, Jesus wanted to be accepted by His Father. That should be our priority as well.
While rejection may cause us to rethink God’s purpose, it will never change God’s purpose for us. If we stay focused on living out this purpose whether rejected or accepted by others, we will be accepted and blessed by God.
Don’t waste your time trying to get people to like or accept you. It will cause you to compromise your message and your convictions, and you will lose focus on God. (You will never get everyone to like you in the first place, so don’t bother trying.) Instead of trying to avoid rejection here on Earth, let it remind you of your daily responsibility to seek acceptance from the only One that matters, God. This will keep even your successes in proper perspective. With God on your side, you are in the majority. Seek His acceptance today.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder