Rejected

Rejected! That is the announcer’s exclamatory outburst when a basketball shot is batted away, especially when slapped leather can be heard in the cheap seats. The moment becomes even more photogenic when followed by taunting, vaunting and gyrating theatrics. But, what of the one rejected; now, there are some interesting responses.

Being rejected is depleting, deflating and disappointing. No one likes to have their actions panned or belittled? Who scoffs at someone’s dreams and expects a positive response in return, especially when the desire to some end is sincere and sacrificial? Rejection is insulting to our very essence, our good intentions demeaned and denigrated, as though they and we have no value. And, there are some interesting responses.

Rejection is a part of life but that fact does not make it easy to accept. However, we should bridle our response, remembering that one door closing does not end all potential or contribution. A great example of properly responding to rejection is King David. His greatest desire, to the glory of God, was building a temple. “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains” (2 Samuel 7:2).

David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22); it was always in his heart to praise and glorify God (Psalm 9:1; 22:22; 35:18; et.al). So, when he decided to build a great temple to God, how did God respond? Even though “it was in (David’s) heart to build a temple for (God’s) name, (he) did well that it was in (his) heart” (1 Kings 8:18) but it was not going to happen. Instead, Solomon would “build a house” for God (2 Samuel 7:13). Rejected!

How did David respond? With humble thanksgiving, David prayed, “give my son Solomon a loyal heart to keep Your commandments and Your testimonies and Your statutes, to do all these things, and to build the temple for which I have made provision (1 Chronicles 29:19). Sure, David could have puffed up like an old toad, pouted about the fact that God had given his dream to another. He could have wallowed in his rejection, hurt and dejected, his best intentions denied. David’s response – which gives insight into why he rated so near and dear to God’s heart – was, knowing he would not be building his dream temple, to make provision for it! He was not so self-absorbed as to diminish his service to the God he loved and, if he could not build it, fine; he would provide for it.

Let us not miss so many of the great opportunities to serve simply because something is not being done our way. Be like David: respond productively when rejected.

Jeff Sweeten