Sharing Our Faith: What If I Am Rejected?
What if I am rejected? This is probably the biggest excuse not to evangelize. There is always a possibility that you could get rejected when you talk to someone about Jesus. In the rest of life, we realize that getting rejected or receiving “no’s” is not always a loss. But why are we scared of being rejected for Christ’s sake so much? Many young guys have been rejected by a girl he was deeply interested in and pursuing, but later meet someone who is more suitable. A young woman named Emily Cavenaugh broke off her engagement with a young Billy Graham at Florida Bible Institute because “She wanted to marry a man who was going to amount to something.” An article in Time Magazine said:
The disappointment planted in Graham a determination to prove her wrong; it ripened alongside his commitment to discerning and obeying God’s will. He would practice sermons aloud in old sheds or in a canoe in the middle of a lake. He ate a quarter-pound of butter a day to try to spread some bulk across his lanky frame, and he worked on his gestures and facial expressions as he traveled to tiny churches or declaimed outside saloons frequented by drunkards and prostitutes, sharing the Gospel.
For Billy, romantic rejection was not the end of the story. Not only would he work hard to become better at his preaching, but he later transferred to Wheaton College where he would meet the love of his life, Ruth Bell, who would be his wife for 64 years.
We Should Never Fear Rejection for the Sake of Christ
Numerous other professionals face rejection. Many teachers have been frustrated with certain students who seemed disengaged, but continued in persistence with those students and watched them eventually change their attitudes and grow into maturity. I have met many physicians who will try every method available to help a suffering patient. If the patient does not get better, good doctors don’t give up their practice. People in sales have to take rejection all the time … and take it with poise.
If we share our faith at all, we can almost expect to be rejected, and it is often the hardest when it comes from a close friend or relative. Young adults, you especially must choose who will be most important in your life — your friends or Jesus. But, consider this: If your best friend had cancer and you had the cure, would you not share it? Well, you have the cure for eternal damnation, which is a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you truly loved your friend, why would you hold back the most wonderful gift you could ever give?
We should never fear rejection for the sake of Christ. In fact, Jesus said that you will be blessed and receive true happiness when you are rejected because of him.
Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets. … Woe to you when all men speak well of you for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets. (Luke 6:22-26)
No Matter the Results
Evangelist Mark Cahill says, “Do you realize that when you get rejected in the name of Jesus, God has rewards waiting in Heaven that will make any earthly reward seem like chump change? That is truly amazing.” No matter the results, evangelist Mark Cahill says you win!
First, if you share the Gospel with an unbeliever, and they receive it, you win!
But, second, let’s suppose that the person you’re talking to is a backslidden believer. God may use you to awaken them, and they may feel convicted by seeing your boldness and decide to start following Jesus. Scripture says, “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (James 5:20)
Third, maybe the person is not ready to receive Christ or fully embrace your ideas, but God may be using you to “plant a seed.” God may be using you as the one to plant an idea in their mind to make them reconsider their current position. Paul wrote, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” In God’s eyes, that’s a win!
The fourth possibility is that you could get rejected. With that rejection, you could lose a friend or even get insulted. In the world’s eyes, this may seem like a loss, but it’s not. It’s a win! Jesus said that you are “blessed” or “happy” when people insult you or persecute you because of him. (Matthew 5:11-12) I like Eugene Peterson’s translation that says:
Count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens — give a cheer, even! — for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. (Matthew 5:11-12, The Message)
Originally published on Disruptive Truth. Reprinted with permission.