The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!' But wisdom is shown to be right by its results." Matthew 11:19
When my kids were really little, they didn't have any fear of rejection. They were bold and brave. They would interrupt classes that I would be teaching at Sagebrush and ask for the microphone. But something happened as they grew older. They started to fear how they might be perceived if they said something that wasn't well-received. They would second-guess whether they would get a laugh or a clap when they stood on stage. As they got older, they were less bold and willing to speak their minds about what they were passionate about.
We often go through the same process in our faith. When we first become a follower of Jesus, we are excited to tell everyone about our new relationship with God. We look forward to the opportunity to hand out invite cards, to volunteer in a ministry, and to share Jesus with the world at large. Sometimes though, the longer that we are in a relationship with Christ, we will start to close off from this boldness. The fear of being rejected by a friend, coworker, or family member holds us back from sharing the message of Jesus. We grow quiet in sharing our faith with others.
Jesus was able to push past the feelings of being rejected by others. Although those in His hometown rejected Him, He still pushed on. He modeled a resilience that is rarely seen in our culture. He showed an uncanny ability to hold onto the truth and to stand with great boldness. People criticized Jesus and called Him a "glutton, drunk and a friend of sinners," and instead of getting angry with these accusations, He embraced them. He called people to the truth regardless of the cost of His reputation, especially when it came to the religious leaders. While He was often hard on the Pharisees and the self-righteous, He took a different tone with the broken. To those who couldn't walk, He was a healer. To the broken, He would bring hope. To the sinner, He would call them to sin no more. And to the humble, Jesus was gentile and kind. He was able to bring both grace and truth regardless of how people responded.
Could you imagine if we had the same attitude as Jesus? We would be fearless and bold in sharing the truth with others. We wouldn't cower with the fear of rejection. Instead, we would stand confidently in the truth.
How much does the fear of rejection affect you? This is an important question to ask because if you are going to make a difference in the world, you have to be willing to stand out. As a culture, we don't like to be different from others and to stick out as weird in a crowd. But God is calling us to be a light in the darkness. Light by nature will always shine brightest in a dark space. Journal through today how you are affected by the fear of rejection and some steps you can take to overcome.
Read Matthew 11:16-29 (NLT)
“To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends,
‘We played wedding songs,
and you didn’t dance,
so we played funeral songs,
and you didn’t mourn.’
For John didn’t spend his time eating and drinking, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.”
Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn’t repented of their sins and turned to God. “What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. I tell you, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you.
“And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead. For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today. I tell you, even Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you.”
At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!
“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.