June 24, 2022
Rejection and Acceptance
Bill Pike (Virginia, USA)
The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
I enjoy tinkering with words. There is no better feeling than when a piece I have written is accepted by an editor, and it hurts to receive a rejection notice. But that hurt is nothing compared to the hurt we feel when rejected by someone we know.
We all are different. Yet, deep inside each of us is the desire to be accepted. We want to fit in, we want to be heard, and we want to be understood. I am an imperfect Christian. I remember times when I have not accepted or understood people in my encounters. I’m sure my rejection hurt them.
Jesus loved people who were rejected by society. He demonstrated for us how we should live — especially when we encounter a person who is struggling to find acceptance. The last sentence in 1 Samuel 16:7 offers time-tested wisdom: “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
As we look to improve our hearts and our interactions with people who are searching for acceptance, we can be encouraged by Psalm 66:20: “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!”
Father of us all, help us to see people’s hearts and not just their outward appearance. Help us to love like Jesus. Amen.
Today’s Reading: Psalm 66: 16-20
Thought for the Day: I can offer God’s gift of acceptance to each person I meet.
Prayer Focus: Someone who needs my acceptance
Author’s note: This devotional appeared in the June 24, 2022 edition of the Upper Room.