Saturday, August 10

No fear of rejection

Scripture: Jeremiah 5-6, John 12

John 12:42–43  Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

Observation

After describing unbelief and opposition to Jesus, John adds that some of the Jewish leaders believed in him, but secretly.  They were afraid of being expelled from the synagogue if they were open about their faith.  Then John adds this comment: “for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

They were afraid of rejection.

Application

I’m an approval junkie!  So this stands out to me.  Fear of rejection and a desire for approval can keep me quiet when I should speak up, can make me hesitate when I should be bold!

At the Leadership Summit, Jia Jiang spoke on Rejection Therapy.  It was hilarious—and helpful.  He realized that he was paralyzed by fear of rejection, so he decided to face his fear head on.  Each day for 100 days, he did something or asked something that would almost certainly be rejected.  For example: day 1, he asked strangers for $100.  Day 6, he asked a stranger if he could play soccer in his backyard (incredibly, the man said yes).  After 100 days of being rejected (most of the time), he realized it wasn’t so bad, and lost his fear of rejection.

God’s most effective servants are those who desire His approval above all, and don’t fear the loss of approval from people.  The apostle Paul planted more churches than anyone in the early Christian movement, and faced more opposition and rejection!  Great effectiveness seems to be coupled with fearlessness—no fear of rejection.  I want to be like that!

Prayer: Lord, help me to fear only You, no one else.  Help me to love Your approval, no one else’s.  Help me to lose my fear of rejection—completely.