The promotion you had your heart set on went to someone else. Your longterm relationship has broken off. Your boss thinks your idea for a new widget is a dud.
Rejection. The very word conjures up a negative image. But how we react to rejection has a lot to do with how it affects us.
I once knew a woman who said she enjoyed rejection - relished it in fact. No, she wasn't a glutton for punishment. She was the star salesperson in her company, always winning holidays for being the top performer. She told me that rejection didn't faze her; it just made her work harder and take a more creative approach to selling her product.
"Rejection," she told me, "comes with my job. I've learned to be resilient."
Several years ago, when I was just starting out as a freelance journalist, I was given the assignment to interview the vocal coach for a famous pop star. I was delighted for the opportunity and got right onto it. Once I'd completed the article, however, the editor told me she'd lost interest in the idea. To say I was disappointed was putting it mildly. I was absolutely crestfallen. While rejection from editors is nothing unusual, this interview was to have catapulted me into the big leagues!
Seeking answers, I turned to one of my favorite Bible verses: "In my Father's house are many mansions .... I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). I've referred to that citation many times in my life. What it means to me is that God provides for all of His children and that none of us is left out of His goodness. I just knew that the good work I had done could not be lost and that I was not a victim of circumstance, or Murphy's Law, or plain bad luck.
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, wrote, "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 261). When I held to the thought that God's law is ever operating to benefit creation, I was able to drop any resentment or disappointment and to leave the situation in God's hands.
Well, a few months later the pop star embarked on a worldwide tour with enormous publicity. You couldn't open a newspaper or magazine without reading something about this big event. It occurred to me that the public would surely be interested in my interview now, so I contacted a national magazine, and to my delight they asked me to meet with them right away. I went on to enjoy several years of writing for that publication, an opportunity which brought me lots of joy.
The Bible is full of encouragement and support for those seeking a more spiritual perspective on the subject of rejection:
*"All things work together for good to them that love God" (Rom. 8:28).
*"If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31)
*"And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten .... And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed" (Joel 2:25, 26).
We don't need to regret what seems to be loss of good or loss of opportunity. Good takes many forms and comes to us without stopping from our all-loving Father-Mother, God. God's goodness is always here and always at work. His thoughts come to us to lead us in the right direction.
Rejection is an opportunity for growth. We can't be out of God's caring.
And I will bring the blind
by a way that they knew not;
I will lead them in paths that
they have not known: I will
make darkness light before
them, and crooked things
straight. These things will
I do unto them, and not
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society