But the LORD told him, “Listen to the people and everything they say to you. They have not rejected you; they have rejected Me as their king.” – 1 Samuel 8:7
For some reason, Samuel seemed surprised when the Israelites rejected his leadership (and the future leadership of his disobedient sons) and asked that the prophet give them a king instead. God reminded Samuel that in this instance, the people had not rejected his leadership, but instead they had rejected the Lord Himself and, by default, His truth. God then gave the Israelites the king they wanted (one who looked good and powerful in the eyes of the world), but only after instructing Samuel to warn them of the consequences of their sinful desires.
Sometimes God’s people reject His word, but the one who delivers that word must deal with the accompanying rejection. If you speak the truth within the context of love for another, there is no need to take this rejection personally. Truth can wound and wounds sometimes take time to heal. Do not hesitate to warn another, if it is necessary, but then give God time to work in his or her life. Often, when God has done His work, reconciliation will follow … and even if it does not, God will give you grace.
One thing is certain, if you fear rejection you will never be able to speak all that God requires.
There’s nothing like rejection to make you do an inventory of yourself. – James Lee Burke
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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