Blog, Living in the Abundance of Christ

The Sting of Rejection, the Hurt of Betrayal

As a teenager and a P.K. (Pastor’s kid) I spent a lot of time at church and church events. One of my favorite kind of events were retreats (for teens). It was an opportunity to get away and meet new people. I met all kinds of interesting people from all across our state (Washington state, where I grew up) and made new friends. There was one retreat in particular that I looked forward to every year. It was always in a fun place, with mostly fun people, and lots of fun activities. I have a lot of great memories from that time, but one particular year stands out in my mind, and it wasn’t so great.

I think I was 14 at the time. I had been tagging along with some of the “cool” kids (whatever that means), and apparently they had been tolerating me for the duration of the trip (which I was too stupid to pick up on). Finally, on the last night, they were going to hang out in one of the cabins, away from the majority of the group, and I went along, again. Only this time, as we started to walk over, a girl in the group turned to me and said “Can you just not come with us?” Up until that point I hadn’t realized they didn’t want me with them. So, mingled with the sting of rejection, was embarrassment. I turned and went back, hurt and humiliated. Rejected. There were tears that I quickly tried to wipe away as I went back into the main cabin. Thankfully, there were some kind hearts inside that welcomed me that night, and taught me how to play the cup game (which I think I can still do). Although that was not the first time I experienced rejection (nor the last), it certainly did leave a lasting impression.

As I got older, I also experienced betrayal. Betrayal by those I thought were my friends. Generally, when you’re betrayed it’s by someone close to you. Someone that you have confided in and trusted. It’s an intimate rejection. As you get older rejection and betrayal doesn’t hurt less. You may be able to handle it better (or at least put up a good front of handling it well), and be able to rationalize the reasons that it may have happened, but it still hurts, badly.

As I considered these things, these hurts and offenses. I also considered the way I have hurt and offended other people.

Something that’s happened since my conversion, is this irritating thing that (hopefully) keeps me from being a hypocrite, where a mirror is placed before me (figuratively speaking) and I look to see that, what I’m accusing other people of doing, I’ve done myself. Maybe even in a worse way. Ugh! God is merciful that way (showing us our true selves). It doesn’t feel good, but it is merciful. It allows for repentance and ultimately Christ’s forgiveness to me.

I considered the rejection and betrayal that Christ experienced.

  • “When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.” John 13:21
  • “But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.” Luke 17:25
  • “While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.” Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.” Matthew 26:47-49
  • “As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.” Matthew 27:19
  • “And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.” Mark 15:12-15

Although we might occasionally think about how we have rejected or betrayed another person, how often do we consider that we have betrayed and rejected Jesus? It is easy, while reading through the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) or the above verses, to wonder how a group of people could become so angry and offended by a person who has not committed any sin, to not only reject him, but ultimately to kill him. We see ourselves through rose-colored glasses and judge these people’s actions, thinking highly of ourselves and how we would never have done this type of thing. Jesus threatened their way of life, he threatened the religious leaders ideals and expectations of what a King would look like. Jesus questioned the motives of their hearts. And he does the same with us. He threatens our selfishness and our own desires. He threatens our “independence.”

We have rejected him. We have cried out “Crucify him”.

I have rejected him. I have cried out “Crucify him”.

He knew that I would reject him. It was part of his plan of redemption. To save me. To save all those that would believe and follow after him. He died for me while I sinned against him, and prompts me toward repentance.

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8

If you have felt the sting of rejection and betrayal, or been the perpetrator of rejecting or betraying someone,  you have a high priest who sympathizes with your weaknesses, he has been tempted in every way, but did not sin. We can confidently come close to him and receive his mercy and grace when we need it.(Hebrews 4:14-16) And we always need it!  He knows the pain of rejection and betrayal. He has felt it and been innocent. He knows that we are guilty of rejecting others and rejecting him, and offers us forgiveness and comfort.

He comforts and encourages me in my affliction (in this instance, rejection, betrayal), so that I will be able to comfort and encourage others.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

 

2 thoughts on “The Sting of Rejection, the Hurt of Betrayal

  1. Lovely, I’m glad I stopped by to see what you’re up to. I love the pictures you are using for your posts. Are you taking them or finding them? Powerful.

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