Facing rejection (4)
Sometimes we need to confront people if their behaviour is negatively affecting us. Jesus said, ‘If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.’ But that doesn’t give us the right to vent our anger or jump in straight away without thinking. Jesus also said, ‘Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying “I repent,” you must forgive them’ (v. 4 NCV). If we do confront someone, we also need to respect their choice if they decide not to continue their relationship with us. Their rejection of our friendship doesn’t mean we’re less important or inferior in some way. However, if we find we’re often being rejected and we don’t know why, it might be a good idea to try to find the reason by asking someone we trust to give their honest opinion of our own behaviour. The Bible says: ‘Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy’ (Proverbs 27:6 NLT). It’s hard to listen to criticism, but it can be the first step towards improving ourselves. We should try not to be defensive or offended by what they say. A true friend will want us to be the best we can be, so even if the things they say are difficult to hear, we can know that their words come from a heart that wants to help us grow. It’s also important that we take what they’ve said to God and ask Him for wisdom to know how to deal with their feedback, and what changes we might need to make. By being willing and open to change, we can turn rejection into something positive that helps us grow.
If you don’t already have one, ask your pastor or youth minister to help you find a mentor who you can trust to give you honest, constructive criticism. Ask them to help you find ways to use your positive traits to glorify God, and improve in your negative areas.
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