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Facing Rejection

Facing Rejection

Cain brought an offering… but He did not respect Cain and his offering. (Gen 4:3-5)

Rejection. We all have faced rejections. Some were easily shrugged off; some needed time for healing. Some rejections do not affect our lives drastically; others can have far-reaching effects. In Cain’s story, the rejection led to tragic ends, with him murdering his own brother and then being chased out of the presence of God (Gen 4:8-14).

This tragedy could have been averted, if Cain had not dismissed the lesson God wanted him to learn: If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Gen 4:7). God did not say He would always reject Cain’s offering. Instead God provided him an opportunity for improvement, but the way Cain handled rejection became a foothold for evil.

In a Christian’s service to God, there is a possibility that Cain’s situation is reenacted. One obvious example is when we’re not elected into some committee in church. Or we might, in our weakness, share Cain’s feelings when we see that another person is recognizably more gifted than us in a common area of service.

The lesson that Cain failed to learn has its current relevance. “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” Instead of anger, we should examine what’s wrong with us and repent. “If you do not do well, sin lies at your door. And its desire is for you.” The hurt from rejection can cause us to fall into sin. We may retaliate by not supporting the workers who are chosen instead of us. We may even dig up their weaknesses and say mean things about them. Or, we may fall into the devil’s trap to give up on ourselves.

But you should rule over it.” God gave Cain a clear directive about what he needed to do. Cain instead succumbed to jealousy and anger. Let it not be the case with us. Let us rule over sin through humility from self-examination and prayers before God. Let us rely on Him to heal any hurt we may have, from any form of rejection. That way, rejection becomes a way for us to glorify God, for He will work in us so we may offer up acceptable offerings in the future.

Questions for Reflection

1.      Are there areas in your service to God which could be improved so that your offering will be more acceptable in God’s eyes?

2.      Are there hidden pockets of injury from past rejections that you have hidden in your heart? Have you taken active steps to face them and overcome them?

 


Author: Shuhong Lin
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