"And the Lord said to Samuel, 'Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.'"
1 Samuel 8:7
No one likes rejection. It is probably one of the most difficult feelings to deal with. Many have felt this sting from someone that they loved dearly. Children even feel this pain on the playground at school. It seems to be a fact of life, but it is a difficult fact to face. My wife will not be happy that I told you this, but I worked as a telemarketer while in college. (She says that she is not embarrassed about it for her sake; she is embarrassed for me.) My first job as a telemarketer came with American Express. They were offering the first card in their history that you could carry a balance from month to month, the Optima. My job was to call innocent people trying to enjoy the evening with their family and ask them if they would like to transfer the balances from their other credit cards to the Optima. I knew that most of them were sitting at home eagerly awaiting my call any way. If they agreed to do so, this strange man on the other end asked them for all of the information from their other credit card (card number, expiration, balance). I am sure that you know people desperately wanted to give that information over the phone. It was almost an impossible job. As a matter of fact, my point is that I learned rejection well. Our quota for a six (6) hour shift was one (1) transfer. Do you know how many calls you make in six hours? It was quite discouraging. The truth is our department had a high turn over rate, because many people could not deal with the constant rejection.
I think of this whenever someone begins talking to me about trying to reach someone that they love for Christ. You have witnessed to them over and over again. You have presented the good news of the Gospel to them in every way possible. You have pleaded with them, wept for them, and prayed for them. You have tried to convey to them how much you want to spend eternity with them. However, it is to no avail. They seem further away from coming to Christ today than ever. Now you feel like giving up. You are wasting your time. It is never going to happen. The truth is that you also feel personally rejected. They know you. They say they love you. How could they not recognize that you are giving them the chance of eternal life, the possibility of avoiding everlasting punishment? Do they think that you are trying to trick them into something bad? How can they do this to you? When you get to this place, stop and bring to your memory today's Scripture. Samuel felt the rejection of the nation of Israel very personally. God, however, told Samuel that it wasn't about him. Samuel was simply the prophet, the voice of God. Isn't that what you are? Samuel knew that if they came to the Lord they would experience true joy. Isn't that how you feel about your loved one? But, just like you, Samuel was rejected. He couldn't understand it. It seemed so spiritually logical. God spoke up and told Samuel, "They haven't rejected you. They have rejected me." What He was saying to Samuel is what He wants to say to you. "You have done your job. Keep on doing it to the best of your ability. I never called you to save your loved one. You cannot win them to Christ. They must obey My voice. They must turn to the Me and make me their personal Savior. Don't be weary in doing well. Don't faint. Don't get discouraged." I am reminded of what I heard Bill Faye, the author of "Share Jesus Without Fear", say in one of his seminars: "You do the best you can at sharing your faith but leave the results to Christ." Keep sharing. Keep loving. We may never know on this side of eternity the eternal impact that we have made for His kingdom.
May you live above the rejection and discouragement today!