My Church Won't Accept My Gift...Confession time, I hated dating. Oh maybe  came that time not in the initial, but there always came that time (until the last time) when I had to come to the realization. “Dude, she’s just not that into you.” It was painful. Have you been there? And then there are the friendships that were pretty much one way, where you are the one making all the effort and you realize that only one who is really committed to keeping this thing going is you. That’s really painful too. And of course, glutton for punishment that I am, I became an artist, where at times rejection just seems to be part of life.

Ministry can be that way too. You put a lot of effort into being the best you can be, you do the work, you study and labor and practice and an opportunity comes up that you really want and you say “Hey, over here, I’m interested and I’d love to be a part of this.” You think you might even have something to offer, but then you get the promo for the event and you see the website and there is one face that’s missing—your own, and you start to wonder if maybe, you don’t have what it takes, because even your friends don’t seem to see the value in what you do. You wonder if all the work, the decades of work, and the struggles and the sacrifices, have been for naught. Maybe you’re just not good enough.

You’d think a guy who wrote a book called Enough. God and the Fine Art of Measuring Up would be immune to feeling this way. If you think that, you’re wrong. I’m not immune, but I am wrong to feel that way and you might be wrong too.

There are a few things to keep in mind. Maybe my friends don’t see the value in my work, or maybe they do and there’s something else in play, but you know who does see the value in my work? The people who have taken risk to let me come to their places and stand before people who trust them, not to mention the people God has entrusted to them. Then there are also all the people who have been touched by what God has given me to do and what He has done through me. They not only see the value of what I do, in a very real way they are the value of what I do. The people who call me pastor see my value too, and they get behind me and help me to do and be all that God is calling me to do and be. Of course I never want to leave the people who come here to read what (hopefully) God has laid on my heart. Thank you, and I love you.

To make the last point, I need to go back to the dating analogy. I didn’t realize I hated dating in the midst of it. Oh the pain was there and it was real, but I really only realized how much I hated dating, when I met the one who would stop me from dating forever, my loving wife Dawn. She was different. She treated me better. She had to, she was the one God had for me. At the end of the day, that is the point behind this post. In the dating world, once I saw what God had for me, I wondered why I had put forth all the effort and endured all the pain from all the rest. In the same way, maybe the things that we want and don’t get aren’t so much a case of rejection and more a case of this is not something God has for us at this juncture. Maybe getting the thing we want will get in the way of us from getting the better thing God has that we can’t yet see.

My advice. Forget rejection, focusing on it will do nothing but make you bitter and frustrated. Instead, love the people who pass you over and do the things God has put before you to the best of your ability. Trust Him to open the doors no one can shut.

His plan is still good even when you feel rejected.

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