© 1999 James A. Fowler

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I. Representative Biblical references

    A. God
         1. God is love - accepting, merciful, forgiving, gracious
              I Jn. 4:8,16 - "God is love..."
              Rom. 15:7 - "Christ accepted us to the glory of God"
         2. God is not rejective
              Lev. 26:11 - "My soul will not reject you"
              Isa. 41:9 - "I have chosen you and not rejected you"
              Ps. 94:14 - "the Lord will not abandon His people"
              II Cor. 4:9 - "not forsaken"
              Heb. 13:5 - "I will never desert you, nor forsake you"
                    Is there a point of no return, at which God gives up on a person and rejects?
                    (cf. Ps. 77:7; 81:12; 88:14; Acts 7:42,43; Rom. 1:24,26,28)
         3. We are to love and accept
              Jn. 13:34 - "love one another as I have loved you"
              Rom. 15:7 - "accept one another"
    B. Satan - "god of this world" (II Cor. 4:4) - rejective, reviling
         1. Jesus rejected and reviled
              Isa. 53:3 - "He was despised and forsaken of men"
              Lk. 17:25 - "rejected by this generation"
              I Peter 2:4 - "rejected by men"
              I Peter 2:23 - "reviled, He did not revile in return"
         2. People rejected and reviled
              Ps. 27:10 - "my father and my mother have forsaken me"
              I Cor. 4:12 - "when we are reviled, we bless"
              I Pet. 3:16 - "those who revile your good behavior"
              I Pet. 4:14 - "reviled for the name of Christ"

II. Explanation of "rejection"

    A. God's intent
         1. Created man to express His character - "image" of God
         2. Fruit of the Spirit - Gal. 5:22,23
         3. Social interpersonal relationships - love, acceptance, harmony, unity, community
    B. Satan's perversion
         1. Satan serves as the antithesis and negative of God
         2. Satan's world system produces a rejective society
         3. Self-concern fosters rejection
              a. Ex. Cain and Abel - Gen. 4:1-15; I Jn. 3:12
              b. Deeds of flesh - Gal. 5:19-21
         4. Everyone has experienced rejection

III. Rejection in Personal Development

    A. Parental care-giver is primary agent of personal development
    B. Rejection by inadequate fulfillment of God-given needs
    C. No perfect parents
         1. Act with personal aspiration, gratification and reputation
         2. React with fight, fright, flight
         3. Patterns of fleshliness - S.E.L.F. patterning
         4. Personal addictions - alcohol, drugs, sex, religion
         5. Perpetuation of systemic family dynamics - dysfunctional families

IV. Some particular forms of social rejection

    A. Physical violence
    B. Abusive authority
    C. Physical expulsion
    D. Sexual advantages
    E. Personal absence
    F. Verbal repudiation
    G. Verbal threats
    H. Personal differences
    I. Public humiliation
    J. Conditional acceptance
    K. Name-calling
    L. Attack on character
    M. Criticism, ridicule, negativism
    N. Comparison, favoritism
    O. Distrust
    P. Withdrawal of right and privileges
    Q. Undemonstrative, uncommunicative
    R. Inadequate provision
    S. Outside involvement
    T. Refusal to accept responsibility
    U. Unkept promises
    V. Impersonal means to an end
    W. Inequitable standards
    X. Absence of recognition and praise
    Y. Overprotection, indulgence
    Z. Projected expectations
    AA. Inadmission of failure
    BB. Forced responsibility
    CC. Encourage sinful behavior
    DD. Permissiveness
    EE. Inadequate example
    FF. No personal relationship
    GG. Premature death

V. Responses to "rejection"

    A. Natural responses
         1. Our own selfishness causes us to reject others
         2. Allege rejection - repressed memories
         3. React with fight, fright, flight
         4. Against rejecters, others, God, ourselves, situations
         5. Develop personality and identity in S.E.L.F.
         6. Perpetuate rejective patterns
    B. Christian response
         1. Find our acceptance and identity in Christ
              a. Christ accepted us - Rom. 15:7
              b. Lord takes us up - Ps. 27:10
              c. Entrust ourselves to Him - I Pet. 3:23
         2. Accept others - Rom. 15:7

Poem by Edwin Markham -

"He drew a circle that shut me out;
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win;
We drew a circle that took him in."



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