Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Facing Rejection

I don't do rejection very well. The flesh wants to harbor resentment -- and lash out in revenge. I can relate to David who said (Psalm 3: 7) "Strike all my enemies on the jaw."

Fairly early on in their time as apostles of Jesus, James and John had similar feelings. As Jesus and his entourage traveled through a Samaritan village, the people did not welcome them. So, James and John suggested, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?"

Think about this: They are ticked because they have been rejected. They have seen Jesus work miracles of healing and feeding and blessing. Never have they seen him use his power to destroy or hurt. But yet their 1st reaction to rejection? "Lord, you save your power. We'll take care of this one for you. Give us the word and we'll just incinerate an entire village! That will send a clear message." Yes, I suppose it would have.

Have you ever experienced the humiliation of being in a classroom, or with a mentor or parent, and thinking you had a really good idea? You share it -- and get rebuked. Immediately, you begin looking for the nearest rock to crawl under, right? Well, James and John get rebuked by Jesus for their plan to "defend" him and his reputation. Why? Because their hearts are absolutely foreign to the heart of Jesus.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that citizens of his Kingdom are to turn the other cheek. We are to walk the second mile. We are to extend blessing for cursing. We are to love and pray for our enemy.

Wow! I'm glad that my citizenship doesn't depend upon always passing the test. However, I want so much to have my old hard heart softened by the King who sits on it.


Bev Ross said...

Thank you for the words of wisdom to start this day! I LOVE that last line!
Sit on my heart, Lord!

Anonymous said...

Rick, Once again your reflections mirror my frustrations. They remind me of Paul's words from Romans 7:21-25. But thanks be to Jesus Christ - He is my salvation.
John Ross

Anonymous said...

If only we could TRULY be pursuing a heart like his. I wish I could just get rid of the old earthly one in just one snap. I know that he has placed his spirit inside me, but I just wish I could get rid of all that hinders him all at once. Is that a Type A trait? Ha. Amy Cooper