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Rejection and Belonging and Pleasing God

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  • Rejection and Belonging and Pleasing God

    Open discussion thread for Christians only, please.

    Ever been "encouraged" that you shouldn't feel badly about being rejected or disliked with snippets of Scripture about being God-pleasers rather than people-pleasers? Did it make you feel better? Has someone reminded you that Jesus himself promised us we would be despised and rejected because of Him and suggested you wear this like a badge of honor?

    This topic weighs on me daily as a counselor. So many sit in my office in tears because they feel out of place or like they don't belong. They don't need counseling as much as love and encouragement. I don't tell them not to feel sad about these things; I believe that will produce a bitter, jaded, hard-hearted person and their faith may be harmed, not to mention their ability to be effective for service to God. I do remind them of their identity in Christ and how much they are loved by God. He truly is the source of our strength and our peace. But, that's not the whole picture, I assert.

    The deep longing we all feel to "belong," is hard-wired in by God. It is not beneficial to ignore it in ourselves or in others. In fact, I'll suggest here that it is the very thing that helps us respond to the gospel and compels us to share it with others. When we fully receive the truth of who we are in Christ and find rest and peace in the sense of belonging that comes from that, I believe we should become winsome and attractive to the lost as we should be. So, we are not to strive so much to please men, rather to respond to God's love, which pleases Him, and the natural result of that response will be that we are more pleasing to those who will respond to the gospel. Of course, the other natural result will be that we will be despised and rejected by those who will not respond to the gospel. It's not a personal rejection. It won't sting any less, but there should be peace in knowing we share this burden with Christ and He has already dealt with the problem.

    I'm inviting your thoughts on how you deal with the need to belong and with rejection. TWeb is the perfect venue for this dialogue since these things are played out daily right here. Please respond from a thoughtful perspective. I'm not looking for, "the heck with 'em," or "we should all just get along." Look forward to hearing from you!
    sigpic
    "...so encourage each other and build one another up." ~1 Thessalonians 5:11

  • #2
    Even before I followed the Lord I enjoyed being alone. I remembered enjoying the song by Edie Brickell "Circle" where it goes
    And being alone is the best way to be
    When I'm by myself it's the best way to be
    When I'm all alone it's the best way to be
    When I'm by myself, nobody else can say goodbye
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_GkjymuQ9U

    The vast majority of the world is so against the Lord Jesus and His followers. The fact that I feel out of place and don't belong is not a negative thing. Heaven is the true Christian's home - we are described as pilgrims (Hebrews 11:13).

    Besides a few people at certain times (family, some friends) it's just best to stay away from people.

    Enjoy your alone time with God more.
    Last edited by foudroyant; 02-07-2014, 08:39 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      yes. I hated being rejected and I always wondered why people told me I shouldn't mind it.
      A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
      George Bernard Shaw

      Comment


      • #4
        I think that they need to remember that we belong to God, and not to this world. We were not called to an easy path. We were not called to please the world. We are called to be salt and light, which have the certain characteristics. Salt has flavor, is preservative, and is an irritant. Light can guide, disinfect, and dispel darkness which many people still love. These two things will either draw people to Christ, or will drive them further from Him.
        Then, we are to delight in the persecutions and hardships we face for Christ. This is obviously very hard to do, but it's what we should be doing.
        Seeking to belong in this temporary world is the same as trying to store up earthly treasures, it won't last, and won't do us any good when we are with God. It may even take our eyes off of what's truly important.

        2 Corinthians 12:8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

        Hebrews 11:3 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

        I think we need to remember that we are just strangers on earth, this isn't our home. Until then, we need to strive to not only deal with not being accepted, but rejoice in it, as we should all our hardships.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
          I think that they need to remember that we belong to God, and not to this world. We were not called to an easy path. We were not called to please the world. We are called to be salt and light, which have the certain characteristics. Salt has flavor, is preservative, and is an irritant. Light can guide, disinfect, and dispel darkness which many people still love. These two things will either draw people to Christ, or will drive them further from Him.
          Then, we are to delight in the persecutions and hardships we face for Christ. This is obviously very hard to do, but it's what we should be doing.
          Seeking to belong in this temporary world is the same as trying to store up earthly treasures, it won't last, and won't do us any good when we are with God. It may even take our eyes off of what's truly important.

          2 Corinthians 12:8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

          Hebrews 11:3 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

          I think we need to remember that we are just strangers on earth, this isn't our home. Until then, we need to strive to not only deal with not being accepted, but rejoice in it, as we should all our hardships.
          Yes this is all true. However when we get rejected by the people who are supposed to care about us, especially friends, or worse family, it hurts. I think I might know why. Family is supposed to be a representation of who God is. We can't choose them. But if a mother father sister or brother or even a friend gives us the message of "you are not good enough for me" That hurts, and it can really injure the heart. I'm not sure how citing scripture will make it better. I have understood that it can make people feel like they shouldn't hurt from rejection. While we should not discount Paul's words, neither should we discount what happens to the heart.
          A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
          George Bernard Shaw

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
            Yes this is all true. However when we get rejected by the people who are supposed to care about us, especially friends, or worse family, it hurts. I think I might know why. Family is supposed to be a representation of who God is. We can't choose them. But if a mother father sister or brother or even a friend gives us the message of "you are not good enough for me" That hurts, and it can really injure the heart. I'm not sure how citing scripture will make it better. I have understood that it can make people feel like they shouldn't hurt from rejection. While we should not discount Paul's words, neither should we discount what happens to the heart.
            God gave us the message that we aren't "good enough" for Him either, but despite that loves us anyway. We never will be good enough either. His words should matter to us far more than anything anyone else says. The only one that can give us the healing we need is God.

            I never said anything about ignoring what happens to us. We should however rejoice in our hardships, which is admittedly hard to do.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
              God gave us the message that we aren't "good enough" for Him either, but despite that loves us anyway. We never will be good enough either. His words should matter to us far more than anything anyone else says. The only one that can give us the healing we need is God.

              I never said anything about ignoring what happens to us. We should however rejoice in our hardships, which is admittedly hard to do.
              .

              No he didn't give us the message that "we aren't good enough." He gave us the message that He created us in his image, called us good, and though we choose whether or not to reject Him, he still loved us so much that He died for us, so that instead of being slaves we may be called friends. Anything else is faulty. The psalmist specifically says Fearfully and wonderfully made. That is not consistent with not good enough for God.
              A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
              George Bernard Shaw

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
                We should however rejoice in our hardships, which is admittedly hard to do.
                I don't believe the Scriptures are telling us to rejoice in our hardships. I believe we are instructed to count it all joy whenever we face trials because, when our faith is tested our Christlike character can be built. When that happens, God gets glory and we get to be more like Christ. It isn't the hardship we are to rejoice, rather the fact that Christ has overcome the world and through him, we can, too. We rejoice because we can rely on Him and because hardships provide opportunity to demonstrate the victory He won for us at Calvary. I think the interpretation you described here is why we find it so difficult to navigate hardship. God is not saying hardship is good or that tragedy is good--He is saying that through these things good things may be accomplished.
                sigpic
                "...so encourage each other and build one another up." ~1 Thessalonians 5:11

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JardinPrayer View Post
                  I don't believe the Scriptures are telling us to rejoice in our hardships. I believe we are instructed to count it all joy whenever we face trials because, when our faith is tested our Christlike character can be built. When that happens, God gets glory and we get to be more like Christ. It isn't the hardship we are to rejoice, rather the fact that Christ has overcome the world and through him, we can, too. We rejoice because we can rely on Him and because hardships provide opportunity to demonstrate the victory He won for us at Calvary. I think the interpretation you described here is why we find it so difficult to navigate hardship. God is not saying hardship is good or that tragedy is good--He is saying that through these things good things may be accomplished.
                  I never said that tragedy is good. I said that we are to rejoice in our hardships. God works through us when we are going through hard times. It's through our weakness that He makes us strong. Paul said the circumstances that we are to delight in. It's hard, but that is what we should be doing.

                  Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
                  .

                  No he didn't give us the message that "we aren't good enough." He gave us the message that He created us in his image, called us good, and though we choose whether or not to reject Him, he still loved us so much that He died for us, so that instead of being slaves we may be called friends. Anything else is faulty. The psalmist specifically says Fearfully and wonderfully made. That is not consistent with not good enough for God.
                  If "anything else is faulty", then start throwing out chunks of the Bible.

                  Isaiah 64:6
                  All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

                  Psalm 14

                  For the director of music. Of David.

                  1 The fool[a] says in his heart,
                  “There is no God.”
                  They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
                  there is no one who does good.

                  Romans 3:22-24
                  New International Version (NIV)
                  22 This righteousness is given through faith in[a] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

                  Ephesians 2:8-10
                  New International Version (NIV)
                  8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

                  "Fearfully and wonderfully made" doesn't apply very well in our fallen state. We ruined what God intended, and are sinful throughout our lives.

                  Psalm 51:4-6
                  New International Version (NIV)
                  4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
                  and done what is evil in your sight;
                  so you are right in your verdict
                  and justified when you judge.
                  5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
                  sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
                  6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
                  you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

                  We are not "good enough" for God, and never will be. That's why He had to send His Son to save us. They both love us despite the fact that we have continually sinned.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post

                    If "anything else is faulty", then start throwing out chunks of the Bible.

                    Isaiah 64:6
                    All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

                    Psalm 14

                    For the director of music. Of David.

                    1 The fool[a] says in his heart,
                    “There is no God.”
                    They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
                    there is no one who does good.

                    Romans 3:22-24
                    New International Version (NIV)
                    22 This righteousness is given through faith in[a] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

                    Ephesians 2:8-10
                    New International Version (NIV)
                    8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

                    "Fearfully and wonderfully made" doesn't apply very well in our fallen state. We ruined what God intended, and are sinful throughout our lives.

                    Psalm 51:4-6
                    New International Version (NIV)
                    4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
                    and done what is evil in your sight;
                    so you are right in your verdict
                    and justified when you judge.
                    5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
                    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
                    6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
                    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

                    We are not "good enough" for God, and never will be. That's why He had to send His Son to save us. They both love us despite the fact that we have continually sinned.
                    Okay so, here's where I disagree. Martin Luther's theological Idea was to throw out any goodness at all. The issue I take here, is the idea that the human race is bad or "not good enough" because we are capable of sin. Man was created with choice. Man chose to sin. Obviously sin is bad. And the sin we do is bad, it hurts our relationship with God, which is why we needed a savior, to save what we are capable of hurting, not because we are "bad" or "not worthwhile" That is Scriptural distortion. Sin is bad. Every verse you quoted says something, it says that sin is bad. It says that sin hurts us. It says that sin hurts our relationship with God and causes us to fall short. Not that the human who is created in God's image is "bad" There should be a distinction made.
                    A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                    George Bernard Shaw

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with Catholicity. I don't think we are either good or bad. We are created in His image because of His great love for us. God deeply desires to be in intimate relationship with us. Perfect and holy, such a desire for something bad is inconsistent. The sin nature we inherit is bad and that is what the battle is waged to conquer. Just as the sin in us is bad, so the Spirit in us is good and powerful to overcome the sin. We are encumbered by sin, but we are not defined by it. Our very reason for being on earth is to be given the opportunity to choose Salvation and bear witness to the truth. In the process, God is glorified and we store up treasures in heaven. That is surely good. If we choose otherwise, we cannot inherit the kingdom. That does not make US bad, only our choice.

                      This is the first rule of good parenting: Don't tell the child he is bad, correct the behavior and love the person. God doesn't love us even though we're not worth it. He loves us because we are his favorite creation. We have value...we are worth saving! Otherwise, why would He bother? God grieves every soul that perishes without Christ. That's why evangelism is so important. It is an urgent battle over a great treasure: us.
                      sigpic
                      "...so encourage each other and build one another up." ~1 Thessalonians 5:11

                      Comment

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