Almost everyone wants to be liked, and even those who say they don’t care about what others say and think are most likely being dishonest with themselves and others. The desire to have others think well of us is indicative of our need for connection and community, free from isolation and rejection. It is even more deeply rooted in God’s original plan for mankind. He wanted a family.
He created a beautiful place for his family to live, and formed Adam from the elements of the earth, and Eve from Adam. He told them “be fruitful and multiply.” They were connected to Him spirit to spirit, and were to be the progenitors of a race of people that would never feel alone. He would be their God, and they would be his people. That was His plan for the human race.
Adam and Eve rejected the plan, and allowed Satan, the destroyer and divider, to become the god of this world’s system. His first act after the fall of man was to introduce into relationships jealousy, envy, and murder. Brother rose against brother, and instituted the devil’s plan for rejection, separation, and loss. God never intended that men would experience any of these things, but by their own decisions, Satan’s will was accomplished.
As we experience this Holiday Season, most of us do so with eager anticipation, yet others only expect bad memories, hurt, and rejection. The Good News for all of us is that Jesus put on flesh and came to live among us. Because of His willingness to become like us, live a sinless life, and die on the cross, we all have opportunity to leave the past behind.
Many Christians understand that when Jesus died on the cross, he took our sins away. This is central to our redemption and acceptance into the family of God, but is not the only thing His death provided for us. For those experiencing hurt and rejection over the holidays, Jesus did something very special. He took our hurts and rejection upon Himself on the cross so that we can be delivered from them. The Bible tells us “He was despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and pain and acquainted with grief…But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing]; The punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him, And by His stripes (wounds) we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:3,5 ) Jesus understands how we feel, and did something about it!
When Jesus rose from the dead, he broke and destroyed the chains of hurt and rejection. It is important not only to know this fact, but to act upon it. Just as we have received salvation by the confession of our lips, we must receive freedom from hurt and rejection in the same way. We must declare with our mouths that we receive freedom from hurt and rejection. We believe that Jesus purchased our freedom, so we must receive it. Say it out loud “I believe and I receive freedom from hurt and rejection. I receive it now in Jesus’ Name!” Making this declaration over and over again will change the way we think and the way we see ourselves. Jesus is always with us, and His Power enables us to enjoy relationships once again, free from the fetters of rejection and hurt.
Let’s all enjoy saying “Merry Christmas” and say it often. Don’t let the original Grinch, Satan, destroy the holidays once again with unproductive memories, thoughts, and words. We have been delivered from hurt and rejection and should enjoy the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. He loves and accepts us just the way we are. When we understand this, we will be productive members of God’s family, and enjoy relationships with others who have been delivered as well! Choose to have the best holiday season ever. Let’s all have a Merry Christmas!