Rejection therapy

I’ve just learned about a game developed by Jason Comely referred to as rejection therapy. The objective is to be rejected every day by at least one person. Examples include asking a stranger for a breath mint or a ride across town. The purpose is to overcome fear of rejection by intentionally inviting rejection and experiencing the satisfaction of facing and defeating your fear each day. What an interesting concept! Mr. Comely promotes “disobeying your fear”. That is a powerful intention.

In considering rejection therapy, however, I studied what the Bible says about rejection. It says quite a lot, actually. Here are some relevant verses about Jesus. It was predicted that He would be rejected by the world long before His birth. Isaiah prophesized:

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Isaiah 53:3

Psalm 118 celebrates the coming of Jesus, but predicts his rejection (and ultimate victory) by metaphor:

The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone; Psalm 118:22

Apparently, rejection is good enough for the Son of God. In fact, we are offered the same honor on His behalf. Jesus told His disciples:

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. John 15:18

He also said:

Blessed are you when people hate you,
    when they exclude you and insult you
    and reject your name as evil,
    because of the Son of Man. Luke 6:22

As Jesus’ followers, we anticipate rejection by the world. We have a wonderful promise to counteract this condition, however. Paul teaches:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

What fantastic news! We are fully accepted by God through the saving grace of Jesus Christ. There is NO rejection, none. With this miraculous, priceless grace comes a responsibility, however. Paul also tells us:

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7

So there it is. We don’t need to fear rejection. As Christians, we are guaranteed rejection… by the world. At the same time, we are fully accepted… by the God of creation. Further, in that acceptance we have the freedom to accept each other, exactly as we are. Now THAT’S rejection therapy. In fact, I’d call it rejection victory!

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About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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