I don't know how to love those who have rejected me.
It seems too big for me, too unfair and painful and awful. I still smart from rejection in my youth. Do you?
I still have wounds I'm working through with God, patching up and remaking with His holy handiwork. Wounds of not being enough, not being right, not being what was expected or wanted. Not being loved or cared for or listened to. Just plain rejected.
God loved us while we rejected Him like that.
I feel Him calling me to a great release. Dropping a weight I've been dragging along, behind, around me, like a heavy, heavy coat. Calling me to release this weight of hurt and rejection, to wear His coat of acceptance and eternal affection. And to set my rejector free.
To somehow love those who have rejected me. To put on His love instead of believing the lies of that rejection. Not just for myself, not just so I can be whole. But so I can pour His love out on others, even on rejectors.
Filling Up on His Love: Romans 5:8
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Pouring It Out on Others: Mark 12:28-31
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Before I became a Christian, when I was still a sinner, rejecting Him, Christ had already died for me.
All too often I take this fact for granted.
"Thanks a bunch for your love, God. But I'm pretty awesome and easy to love, so no biggie, right?"
Until I think about pouring out that same love on others. When I have to love like he did. Let go of rejection and pain and sins committed against me and instead... love?
Wow. How does He love me like that?
He gives us two great commandments. First to love Him with all our heart soul mind and strength. (Of course! Why wouldn't I love Him? He died for me when I was His enemy!)
But to love my neighbor as myself... Hmmmm. That's a tough one.
I'm so thankful He doesn't leave us to do it in our own broken power. He clothes us in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And He reminds us we belong to Him. We are deeply loved.
We can let go of rejection. Even love our rejectors. Because we belong! We are welcomed and accepted and cherished.
And as much as I would like to just wrap myself in that acceptance and leave those who reject me out in the cold... I'm reminded of how it feels.
How it feels to be pushed out and unwanted. So I ask God to help me. Strengthen me so I'm never a rejector of anyone, even of those who reject me.
Today's Challenge... Memorize, Meditate, and "Put on Love"
You are holy and dearly loved. We don't need to carry around our rejection. We don't need to wear it and let it drag us down.
We can clothe ourselves in His compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We can put on love.
Memorize these verses. Meditate on them. Sing them. I've provided links to my peeps at Seeds Family Worship, my favorite way to memorize and meditate on scripture is to sing their songs. (And I don't get a penny or a product for saying so.)
Practice putting on His love for those who have rejected you. He loved us while we were so far from Him. He has a place for us, with open arms, and cherishes our presence. Let's put on that same love.
It may help to do something physical when dealing with painful rejection. Actually taking off an article of clothing that symbolizes the rejection and pain of the past. Putting on something else that symbolizes God's acceptance and power fortifying you to love others, even those who have hurt you.