Risking Rejection to Love Like Jesus


Without taking a personality test, it’s clear I am reserved. Hugs, sharing feelings, and anything leading to public displays of emotion are situations I try and avoid.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of big feelings or honesty. But I feel vulnerable and exposed when my emotions are obvious to everyone.

It’s so easy to get hurt, and people can be insensitive. It’s a lot easier to hide my true feelings rather than risk rejection.

When I think of God’s love I’m baffled. I have trouble connecting with His actions because of how vulnerable He was when He sent Jesus to earth to save us from our death sentence by dying in our place.

The verse I’ve found the most problematic is one of the first verses I memorized, John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (NIV). Over and over I’ve wondered what this means. How could God put Himself out there like that? Doesn’t He know how many of us reject Him and don’t accept His love?

Jesus confronted the very thing I’m most afraid of: being rejected for being your authentic self. In the face of unbelief, Jesus stood firm. He was confident in His person and certain of what was true. So much I want to embody Jesus’ conviction and passion, and be like Him.

Despite my reservations, I tend to love others deeply but hesitate to let them in on my secret. If I follow Jesus’ example of love, regardless of it being returned or rejected, I need to be vulnerable. I need to show others how much I care.

Looking at love this way is scary but at the same time, I feel assurance that God’s love for me is bigger than any rejection I face. Psalm 13:5 says, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” Even if I get hurt, I know my worth rests in God’s love, not in what others think of me. God sent His Son to die for me. He thinks I’m worth dying for, no matter how many times I forget or reject Him.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8