1 Thessalonians 4:7-9 (NIV, ©2010)
7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
Not long ago, I was faced with personal rejection. Someone accused me of being too Christian and too involved in a particular ministry. This condemnation was spread and fed and ultimately affected my relationship with others. My effectiveness in ministry was challenged and I didn’t know if I should go on serving in this way. I truly felt ineffectual and very much under attack.
How could I be too Christian? One of the reasons this person was offended because a group prayed before a meeting and they didn’t think prayer belonged as part of this group… even though this person claimed to be a Christian too. This person campaigned to reject me because of Christ.
I was hurt and at first was unable to see that the rejection had very little to do with me and everything to do with this person’s relationship with the Lord. Once I was able to take my eyes off me, I was able to pray for this person and my heart, instead of being bitter and angry, was softened.
I know very little of this person’s life or situation but I do know that set apart from God is a much lonelier place than being set apart for God.
As I pray for this person, I will also pray for me that my heart will be tender to the hurts of others and strong in the comfort of knowing that I am a new creature in Christ and that He will sustain me.