Rocks of Rejection, Gems of Grace

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” We all learned this as children, but also quickly learned it wasn’t true. Names do hurt and the hurt can stay with you for a long time. How many of you can remember the childhood taunts you endured? Probably every single one of us has clear memories of pain caused by name callers. They felt like rocks of rejection.

Rocks of rejection come in many forms and sizes. The boulders take the form of being turned down for a job, a marriage proposal, a promotion or any dashed hope.

The Bible is full of stories of rejection. The first one, even though instigated by Satan through deception, was when Eve rejected God’s warning and ate from the tree.

All through the Old Testament we read of rejection after rejection: humanity rejecting God, and God reaching out, seemingly to no avail. God gave Israel the Old Covenant, but they had to obey the laws to be accepted by him. They continually disobeyed and were punished but still God offered his love and acceptance if they would only meet his conditions, which they never did.

We see stories of rejection in the New Testament as well, from the Samaritan woman who was rejected by a whole town, to Mary Magdalene, who couldn’t mingle with polite society, to the woman asking for crumbs at Jesus’ table.

Jesus faced the ultimate rejection when he was unfairly tried and sentenced to death.
Through God’s kindness and love in giving us his Son, we have a place to go for rock removal. Through grace we’re forever accepted through faith in Jesus.

Ephesians 1:3-6 assures us of this acceptance: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (NKJV, emphasis mine).

This gem of grace has made a big difference in my life. Before, I was not sure of my salvation. I worried I wasn’t obeying well enough or overcoming enough. I was insecure and wanted attention and acceptance but sometimes went about getting it in the wrong way. I was sometimes needy and high maintenance. Acceptance by Jesus has taken care of my uncertainties and insecurities (not entirely, I must admit, because I’m still learning) and I’m now able to focus more on others.

I don’t carry that bag of rocks around anymore. Instead I have a velvet bag with shiny, beautiful gems, lightweight, easy to carry and so much more valuable than diamonds. Are you still carrying around rocks of rejection? If so, give them to Jesus at the throne of grace and pick up some gems of grace in return.