When we believe in the voices that call us worthless and unloveable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

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Rejection affects us in a very personal way; it goes to the essence of our being. It invokes in us this question: do we matter?  Are we worthy? Why are we alive?

Rejection has the power to obscure God’s name for us, that of “Beloved.”

There is not one person who does not possess that name.  All who are called into being are so named by God.

Yet, rejection in its many forms comes to us to knock us off stride, create doubt and, as Henri Nouwen says, turn us to pride and self-assertion in order to proclaim our value in success, power, popularity, anything that will, we think, restore our worth.

Restore our worth?  Ah, but efforts to restore what God has established are, oddly, ways of undermining God’s work in us, creating distance between ourselves and God … ironically, an act of desperation and pride which is unnecessary and exhausting.

Faith in a real sense is confident acceptance of the name God has given you. “Beloved” needs no improvement.  Being God’s “Beloved” cannot be defeated by the actions of unloving others, who themselves act without knowing they, too, are God’s “Beloved.”

In life you will encounter scads of those who doubt their worth.  You can find them even in theology departments, and at work, in all walks of life.  Their belief has not come to the depths to which they are invited and made to know.  Out of their doubt and sustained “incompletness” they label others, they reject and they injure.

Begin the day with this understanding: You are God’s “Beloved.”  You are free in this to know certainty, and humility, and gratitude – no matter what happens and what name others call you.  “Beloved,” stay in faith.

Shalom.

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