Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Don't personalize rejection! Happens to us everyday

Mark batterson -

If you personalize rejection it can become parasitic. It will destroy your confidence. It will destroy your joy. It can even undermine the vision God has given you.

There is a moment toward the end of his life when Israel rejects Samuel's sons as judges because his sons didn't follow in his footsteps. Samuel was "crushed." Ever been there? Think about it. He devoted his entire life to serving Israel. And then they reject his sons. Granted, his sons were corrupt. Which probably means it was a double blow. What a terrible ending. But there is a powerful leadership principle if you read the story closely. The Lord says: "They are not rejecting you. They're rejecting me."

I better make this clear: no leader is beyond rebuke, correction or exhortation. And if you think you are then it's the beginning of the end. But what I'm focusing on here is unwarranted criticism or unfair treatment. If the sermon you are preaching or the vision you are casting is from the Lord, then people aren't rejecting you. Don't personalize the rejection. I think this is one key to evangelism: if you personalize the rejection you'll stop sharing your faith.

Can I share a lesson learned? It doesn't matter how God-ordained your vision is. You can walk off of Mount Sinai with tablets inscribed by the finger of God. You will still have your early adopters, late adopters, and laggards. It's the adopter categories originally devised by Everett Rogers in his book The Diffusion of Innovation. You will always have your 16% laggards who will resist the vision. For what it's worth, I think they serve a valuable purpose. They force us to keep refining the vision.

Bottom line? Don't personalize rejection.

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