“If the world hates you, realize it hated me first … If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”

Jn 15: 18, 20

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Ever wonder why it is that good people are rejected by those around them?  Even members of their family?

The answer obviously has to do with human relationship, with the dynamic between Party A (the Good Person) and Party B (the “Rejector”) and really puts the spotlight on the “Rejector.”

A simple and accurate way to understand this is to distinguish between self-love and self-esteem.

The former is the foundation of a healthy and good person.  A good person most often has a good sense of self, and it shows by their humility and openness to others.  They know who they are and they accept themselves, have a healthy appreciation of who they are – a love of self.

In contrast, those who are “Rejectors” lack that self-acceptance, that healthy love of self, the humility that shows their growth and development.

They are “self esteem” people.  They try to acquire regard for self without any examination of self.  They prefer the appearance to the substance.  They are, interestingly, often a-religious, having little regard for anything of depth and intimacy.  They will do just about anything to eliminate any suggestion that they are not perfect, wonderful.  They are selfish, quite frequently controlling, capable of evil, hateful too, innately antagonistic, aggressive, alienating those around them for no particular reason.  The presence of good provokes them to reject what they are not.

So how does rejection work?

The Good Person is an implicit risk to the “Rejector.”  Their mere presence is a challenge to the superficial, shallow, and fragile “Rejector.”  The good person must be eliminated is their instinctive response.

Indeed, the more shallow and superficial the “Rejector,” the sharper and more hostile the rejection, the more constant the process of rejection.  You see, those captivated by “self-esteem” live a life of “self-creation”/construction.  It is all fluff. All false. That is, it is a life of cobbled-together lies – some biggies, many small.

If evil is anything it is lies – life lived as a lie.

In an image culture like we have, one that also is a-religious and actually hostile to religion, appearance is the coin of the realm, self-deception breeds deception of others, dishonesty – and rejection of what and who is good is a common event.

Hopefully, putting this in perspective takes the hurt out of rejection.

What you can understand hurts less.

Shalom.

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