Open Up: The Risk of Rejection Is Worth the Reward

My uncle is a local radio disc jockey. He’s one of the sweetest guys I know and truly cares about the people in his life. However, one of my family’s favorite pastimes is to watch him in a public setting. He has go-to nicknames for each gender so it seems like he knows who people are even if they’ve never met. The thing about my uncle is that he’s really great and everyone likes him but not everyone actually knows him.

When it comes to building the kind of relationship needed to invest in others, people have to know you. That’s a scary thought, often with this main concern: “What if they don’t like me?” But the risk is worth the reward.

In this case, the risk is being liked and the reward is a gospel-centered, kingdom-changing relationship. See? The risk is worth it. Now, if this sounds like a devotional for a middle-school girl, I apologize. But honestly, most of us (myself included) are still afraid of the rejection that comes with opening ourselves up to the point where we earn the right to share the gospel.

The truth is you just have to open yourself up. How do you go about this? Take some time to get to know the person you’re sharing with. Don’t walk up to a stranger and say, “Hello, my name is _____. This is my deepest, darkest secret. Now do you trust me enough to believe me when I say Jesus is the Son of God and He died on a cross to save you from your sins?”

Another aspect is to get out of your comfort zone. How many friends do you have who aren’t believers? Get involved in some community activities after work that aren’t sponsored by your church. This way you’ll get to know nonbelievers and they will get to know you. But don’t do this without the support of a Christian community; you must have people praying for you and holding you accountable.

Finally, remember the purpose behind being authentic: It’s what Jesus did. He loved people where they were and modeled His life for them. If that plan was good enough for Him, it should be good enough for us, too.

 

Ryann Mitchell lives in Birmingham, AL, with her husband and one-year-old daughter. She works in adult education and serves as the children’s minister at her church.

 

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