Bob Tamasy: Pain Of Rejection

Thursday, May 16, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

How do you handle rejection?

Unfortunately, rejection is one of life’s constants. I remember as a boy when we chose sides for a ball game. Not being a natural athlete, I was never the first person selected. Sometimes I waited and waited until the captain of one of the teams finally pointed to me and said, “Robert.”

I remember the anxiety I felt attending a school “sock hop” and trying to muster up the courage to ask someone to dance. What if she said no? What if she realized I wasn’t a very good dancer? That fear continued into my dating years in high school and college, trying to find the boldness to ask an attractive young woman to go out. The possibility of being rejected was terrifying for a young man with an already fragile ego.

Rejection, of course, doesn’t end with college. You apply for a job, or engage in a job interview, where a prospective employer evaluates you and how well you could fill a specific role with the organization. Being rejected directly, or even indirectly when the promised “We’ll get back to you” never happens, is never enjoyable.

As a writer, the ominous threat of rejection became real when I started sending out query letters and proposals for magazine articles and books. How could anyone not be as enthused about my scintillating ideas as I was? Letters that said, “We regret to inform you that your idea does not fit our needs,” or the kinder, “The concept you suggest for your book is intriguing, but we’re sorry that we cannot consider it at this time,” were difficult. Even established authors like John Grisham, Stephen King and many others painfully recall rejection letters they accumulated over the years.

A book I’ve edited for a friend has just been sent to a publisher, and I’m excited about the impact it can have. It’s an inspiring story about overcoming rejection and using that as motivation to keep trying, never giving up. The question is not whether we’ll experience rejection, but rather how we respond when we do.

Recently I came across a Bible passage about rejection that struck me as never before. It talks about Jesus: “As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him…. ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,’ and ‘A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall’” (1 Peter 2:4-8).

The times when I’ve been rejected were hard, but understandable. I wasn’t fast or agile enough, not experienced or talented enough, perhaps not “cool” enough. I was rejected because I was deemed unworthy. But considering the rejection of Jesus, who did no wrong and performed so much good, defies my comprehension.

He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, and showed compassion to the emotionally and spiritually wounded, yet He was rejected. And that rejection, unlike my own, led to an excruciating death on a cross.

This rejection continues today. To my knowledge, Jesus Christ is the only name of a religious or spiritual leader that is used as an expletive, a curse word. Not Mohammad, Confucius, Buddha, Krishna, or anyone else you can think of. Interesting, isn’t it?

And for people like me, whether we call ourselves Christians, followers of Jesus or His disciples, we encounter increasing ridicule, even malice. However, it’s usually not us being rejecting, but Him.

All I know is what 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells me: “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” Amazingly – even unbelievably – Jesus endured ultimate rejection so that I – and all who would receive His offer of forgiveness and mercy – could be reconciled to God. That, as the famous hymn tells us, is “Amazing Grace.”

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.)



Scenic City Women's Network April Luncheon Is Thursday

The Scenic City Women't Network April Marketplace Luncheon is on Thursday, with networking at 11:30 a.m. and lunch from noon to 1 p.m. and will be featuring Pat Merrell.   To make reservations go to reservations@scwn.org or 423 698- 6262 by Tuesday at noon   The luncheon will be at the Mountain City Club, 729 Chestnut Street, Chattanooga, TN ... (click for more)

Bob Tamasy: Don’t Judge – But Don’t Condone, Either

The statement caught my eye. It’s been expressed many times, but merits reviewing again: “Don’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you.” Ponder that for a moment. There’s much wisdom in that statement. Because, the Bible asserts, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). As a wise theologian noted, “When the Bible says ‘all,’ ... (click for more)

Prominent Business, Civic Leader, And Philanthropist Scotty Probasco Dies At 86

Prominent Chattanooga business, civic leader and philanthropist Scotty Probasco has died at the age of 86. Scotty, as he was affectionately greeted by most of Chattanooga, was known for his modesty, generosity, dependability, and unswerving loyalty. “Great work” was always on the tip of his tongue – a manifestation of his joyous humility. He was a man of high ideals, of kind ... (click for more)

Chemical Odor In Lookout Valley Traced To Chattanooga Tank Wash

Chattanooga firefighters in Lookout Valley were sent out Friday night to investigate reports of a strange odor in the area. The firefighters searched the area, but never found the source of the odor.  John Schultz, an investigator with the Air Pollution Control Bureau, was also out Friday night and eventually tracked the source of the odor to a business, the Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Proud Of Hometown Boy Turned Global Leader, Bob Corker

Time Magazine has it right.  Not only is Chattanooga’s own U.S. Senator Bob Corker one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” but he is probably now the most prominent leader in the history of our city.   At a time of extreme frustration with Washington and Congress in general, Bob continues to rise above the division and rancor to build consensus and solve ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Great Work, Ol’ Pro!

Years ago I was lucky enough to be the seatmate of Scotty Probasco on an airplane bound for somewhere and he taught me a word that has helped me be a much better person than I ever thought I could. We were already swell friends, since he’d watched me grow up at First Presbyterian Church every Sunday with his kids, and he liked some of the stuff I tried to write back then. So ... (click for more)