by Jennifer Slattery @Jenslattery
“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for My Father is with Me.” John 16:32 NIV
There’s one fear that can keep me paralyzed, that can dramatically hinder my obedience. Oh I’ll push through the hard, jump out into the unknown, and persevere through difficult and discouraging circumstances, so long as relational risk isn’t involved. But if I think there’s even a chance I might experience rejection, especially from someone I care about, I grow anxious and weak-kneed, and frankly, disobedient.
As a result, I’m tempted to skirt around tough conversations and pursue my comfort instead of obedience.
Unchecked, our fear of man—what they might or might not think of us, how they might or might not react—can hinder our obedience to Christ. And while our heart’s desire is to please our Savior in all things, trying harder leads to short-lived behavior modification at best.
Jesus demonstrates a better, deeper, and longer lasting way.
Throughout His ministry, He initiated tough conversations. He consistently had the courage to choose the unpopular route, to remain silent when ridiculed, and to give Himself completely to those He knew would abandon Him in His darkest hour. In John 16:32 we learn how. All will abandon Me, He said. But that’s okay, because I’ll have the love of the Father.
Jesus’ security came from His Father’s enduring love. That’s where ours will come from as well. When we’re filled with the love of the lover, our hunger for man’s approval subsides.
When you feel the sting of rejection weighing you down, may it serve as a reminder to draw close to the One who knows you fully, loves you deeply, and will never leave.
About the author: Jennifer Slattery is a writer and international speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and other writers across the nation. She’s the author of six contemporary novels maintains a devotional blog found at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com. She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, (http://whollyloved.com) she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Connect with her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte) or Instagram.
Join the conversation: How has a fear of rejection impacted your life?