What would I risk for the Lord? I would risk the big “R” word. I would risk rejection. Not only would I risk rejection, but I risk rejection regularly. In fact, I risk rejection so regularly I sometimes forget I am taking the risk at all – a far cry from where I began. See, there is little in life I have hated as much and for as long as I have hated rejection. The rejection rascal has come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and forms in my life – abandonment, neglect, abuse, slander, gossip, and so much more. Not only did I come to hate rejection, but I came to resent it so greatly that I would sometimes refuse to take the risk. But if the truth be known, more often than not, I would take the risk – but take it with great fear, extreme defensiveness, and such easy offence it was almost not worth taking the risk.
What exactly does rejection have to do with taking a risk for the Lord? I have the heart of an evangelist, and a passion beyond measure to introduce people to Jesus who have never met Him. I also have an indescribable desire to help lead people back to Jesus who have turned their backs on Him, and to encourage people who know Him to deepen their relationship with Him. Risk? Risk rejection? Imagine with a passion like this the risk I take in rejection when I step out in faith – sometimes with accompanying fragments of fear, albeit – and tell the world about this one I love called Jesus.
For someone who has hated rejection as much as I have, imagine the risk I take in telling a fallen world about a Savior who Himself garnered more hatred and persecution than we could ever fathom. Imagine telling the world about Jesus when the world resists and rejects Him as much as it does in this day and age. I don’t have to imagine. I know. I do this all the time, and admittedly I hate the rejection but love the fulfillment of my passion and obedience to Him.
So how have I grown? I not only take the risk regularly, but I am far more tolerant of the rejection than I ever was. Where rejection used to leave me in a self pitying, puddle of tears heap, when I am rejected for Christ I am learning to let it roll off my shoulders more and more. Certainly I have such a long way to go, but I have started on my way. If nothing else, I do not let the rejection stop me from moving forward. On good days, I let it roll off me. On bad days, I stub my toe, mumble something unnecessary under my breath and move on. On really bad days, I crash to the ground and realize my need for repentance before I bother to get up again.
And, on the best of days, I realize it is worth taking the risk of rejection no matter how great this cost to my flesh because I live and breathe for Jesus and can’t imagine any greater privilege than sharing His love with a broken world.
Why is rejection easier now than it was in the past? Simple. The Lord. His love, His Word, His calling on my life. I will continue to risk rejection for Him. Sometimes I think my history of being unpopular as a girl, coupled with so much abandonment and rejection by loved ones in earlier adult years, was training ground for me. My history of rejection, as I was refined by the fire of the Holy Spirit, became a catalyst for the growth I have needed to keep stepping forward in faith to declare the name Jesus to a world that so desperately needs Him.
What would you risk for God? Think about it. Pray about it. Then do something about it. Take the risk. Trust God. Obey God. Love God. Serve God. And remember somewhere in your future you might just reach up your hands and touch the glorious crown on your head. Or, much better yet, bypass the crown and reach your hands to the heavens to glorify the name of the Lord for whom it was worth taking the risk to declare His name and distribute His love to His Creation.
Jas 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”