Rejection hurts. We want to be a chosen one.
Do you remember gym classes with team captains who chose members? If you were not athletic, it was a time of humiliation and rejection. Then, adulthood delivers more opportunities for rejection: looking for a job, losing a job, finding a mate, enduring a divorce, raising teen-agers. Rejection stains every life, producing ugly fruit: shame, more rejection, fear and a burning desire to control others—so you can avoid more rejection.
Our performance-driven culture feeds the desire to be “chosen.” Reality shows capitalize on the desire and incite the frenzy! Shows such as The Voice, Shark Tank and The Bachelor are just a few with contestants vying to be “the chosen one.” There is a problem, though. Our world has a bottom-side up view of “chosen.”
Isaiah said this about the Chosen One:
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3)
Rejection as a defining characteristic of “the Chosen One?” That is not the choosing we long for, is it? In our culture, chosen implies excellence and special privilege. We like that idea of chosen. We enjoy the Scriptures that say God chooses believers as His special inheritance. We begin to believe He chose us based on something special about us instead of remembering He chooses the weak to shame the strong. We fixate on our status of “chosen” and begin rejecting others. That is not the way of the Cross. The Chosen One opened His arms to rejection that “whosoever” will could choose Him and have eternal life.
Rejection led Jesus to say, “Father, forgive them,” because Jesus lived in the security of the Father’s approval. Rejection does not have to produce damage in us; it can be an open door to bring the Kingdom of God into our world! The determining factor is whose approval matters the most to us. Whom do we want to be chosen by? Jesus never lived for the approval of anyone but His Father. With eyes fixed on the Father, we know our chosen status and enjoy that security. His approval heals every other hurt—if we choose Him over the hurt.
Are you ready to be a chosen one?