A soldier was serving overseas and far from home. He became annoyed and upset when his fiancée wrote breaking off their engagement and asking for her photograph back.
He went out and collected from his friends all the unwanted photographs of women that he could find, bundled them together and sent them to the ex with a note that read:
“I regret that I cannot remember which one is you… Please keep your photo and return the others.”
Who knows how much—or even if—this familiar story is true, but one thing is certain: some people don’t handle rejection well. Why? Because it hurts.
Our calling as Christians virtually guarantees that at some point we will be rejected. Several places in scripture Jesus tells us that the world will hate us because it hates Him. Paul refers to us as aliens in this world, and claims we are only passing through. God assures us that we are created in His image. So if people see Jesus when they look at us, it is only natural that we will be rejected.
But it is not us they are rejecting. Sometimes people think they are despising the messenger, but it is actually the message that prompts their rejection. The believer’s message is the message of God and it’s God—or the message of God—that they reject.
Knowing this may not necessarily make it easier for you to share the gospel with non-believers, or to live the principles of scripture out in your life. But we can know this: God will equip those He has called. And that means we need never fear rejection when we are serving the Lord.