What is Wisdom?

In today’s day and age it is easy to look around us at the world and at the choices that people make and ask: what is wisdom? As Christians we should have a desire to know what wisdom is in light of our salvation… is our wisdom the same as the worlds or is there more to it than that? Why is wisdom or being wise important? A better question is: how should wisdom apply to us as believers, and us as a “Kingdom of God” or church? Let’s think together about Christian Wisdom.

Some say wisdom increases with age and I would say that is mostly correct… but they definitely don’t go hand –in-hand. You can be old and unwise. Experience may increase with age, but wisdom may not!

Ruth Younts says that,

Christian wisdom is knowing and understanding the truth, obeying the truth, and making decisions based on the truth. Wisdom helps you be more like Jesus in your actions, thoughts and attitudes, by loving God and your neighbor.

I would go even farther and say that living wisely means receiving power from God to live and act as God designed us to live and act.

Believe it or not, we were all designed to live wisely. We need to understand that God has created an order, after understanding this we must recognize that created order, and live in a way that coincides with that created order. In other words, God created human beings to function in certain ways within the world He has created.

Wisdom is more than knowledge… it includes action as well.

Just to know what to do isn’t wise if you don’t do it! I think we see that a lot nowadays in our culture. Our practices get more and more unwise with what is popular or “cool.” Any individual could look at illegal drugs and say, “the decision to take or do that is stupid” but people still do it anyways. Sin ultimately is unwise, but for some reason after the fall we continue to do it and to take part in it willingly.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Being wise means honoring God with our actions.

In Scripture we see a story of “wisdom” gathered from the wrong places. Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba who became king of Israel after David died. Solomon asked God for wisdom and was given it in 1 Kings 3 and he built a temple and dedicated it to God. However, his many foreign wives and perhaps his great wealth and public acclaim turned his heart away from God. To many Solomon would look wise and like he had it all… but he was not wise according to God’s standards. Ultimately, for Solomon, being wise in the ways of the world turned out to be a spiritual handicap. The lesson we get from Solomon, especially in Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, is this: all human wisdom is in vain. Without God, “all is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

Ecclesiastes 1:12 -18 says,

I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted. I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind. For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

We can even say that wisdom comes down to vision. Our wisdom can be defined by seeing life horizontally. This means looking to God instead of ourselves, and I think Solomon would agree! We know that God holds the answers to all things. Instead, often we try to lean on ourselves and our own knowledge or experiences and that is very unwise. It would be like a high school basketball player looking to their washed up dad for 3 point shooting advice while Steph Curry stood on the sideline. It makes no sense!

Everyday faith is wisdom. Wisdom is knowing the LORD. God can use wisdom as a way of maturing and sanctifying us, and when we go against wisdom we go against God because He is all wisdom. The source of wisdom is God. Wisdom leads us to God through Christ Jesus. We can be wise by trusting in God even when we don’t see or recognize His work, because we know that faith is more than just living by the things that we see. In the end, wisdom looks like Christ because He is the wisdom of God.

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Themes: The Gospel in Colossians

In this day and age the Bible isn’t held to the same “truth standard” that it was in generations and days past. Bizarre interpretations are accepted because people believe they have the right to decide for themselves what a passage means, or blatantly remove text from its intended context and twist it against itself or twist it to mean what they want for it to mean at that particular time or for that certain circumstance. In other words, many today approach Scripture with the idea that the meaning is in the eye of the beholder.

This ideology flies in the face of Christ’s example. In fact, Jesus routinely rebuked those who twisted the words of Scripture or misapplied them. The Bible is God’s message to man, and because of that we can have perfect confidence that God is capable of accurately relaying His Word to us, His creation, in a way that we can understand.

But… it is crucial that we do our part and we learn how to interpret Scripture properly so that we can determine the original author’s intended meaning rather than forcing our own ideas into the text.

Hermeneutics, which comes from the Greek word hermeneuo, means to explain or interpret. Hermeneutics is the branch of theology that focuses on identifying and applying sound principles of Biblical interpretation. While the Bible is generally plain in its meaning, proper interpretation requires careful study and is not always an easy task.

Did you know that the Bible was written over a period of roughly 2,000 years by 40 or more authors using three languages?

The Holy Spirit moved each of these writers to produce His inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word!

2 Timothy 3:16 says,

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

2 Peter 1:19–21 says,

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

So… how do we as “modern day Believers” properly interpret Scripture? Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to start into a new method of reading the Word of God and interpreting such powerful words and meanings. Below I will demonstrate how I go about interpreting Scripture in my daily reading by identifying themes and how they build off each other to display the Gospel.


Let’s begin with the book of Colossians. This book is a mini-ethics course, addressing every area of Christian life, and perhaps one of the most Christ centered books in the Bible. Although Paul addresses many areas, the basic application for us today is the total and complete sufficiency of Christ in our lives, both for our salvation and our sanctification. Paul progresses from the individual life to the home and family, from work to the way we should treat others. This book centers on the Head of the Church, which is Jesus Christ. The two major themes in this book are “the supremacy of Christ” in Chapters one and two and “the submission to Christ” in Chapters three and four. There is an overarching Gospel theme in this book that runs throughout as well, it is the sufficiency of our Lord, Jesus Christ in meeting our needs in every area.

The Gospel in Colossians is broken down and explained in several themes throughout this book which all expand upon each other. I will break down the Gospel themes, explain, and provide backing verses below. Let’s think together.


  • The Supremacy of Christ (Chapters 1-2)

supremacy

: the quality or state of having more power, authority, or status than anyone else : the state of being supreme

The first theme or display of the Gospel that Paul demonstrates or provides in Colossians is the supremacy of Christ over all. The reason this is of importance to the Gospel is that recognizing this is recognizing who holds the authority over all, and who we must serve. There is no way to Heaven except through Christ and the work of Christ, and as much as the world would like to tell us otherwise we cannot do it without His work.

Colossians 1:15-16 says,

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

Colossians 2:8-15 says,

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceitaccording to human traditionaccording to the elemental spirits of the worldand not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in himwho is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without handsby putting off the body of the fleshby the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptismin which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of Godwho raised him from the dead. And youwho were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your fleshGod made alive together with himhaving forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demandsThis he set asidenailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shameby triumphing over them in him.

  • The Submission to Christ (Chapters 3-4)

submission

: the state of being obedient : the act of accepting the authority or control of someone else

The second theme found in Colossians after the recognition of the supremacy of Christ is what our response should be… a response of submissiveness. Paul offers up many examples of what it is to live as Christ, and all of these examples are completely unnatural for a human to do apart from Christ. All that we are called to do is to die to our old worldly selves, be raised with Christ, and submit to what He has called us to do. Full submission is necessary if we are pursuing holiness.

Colossians 3:1-3 says,

If then you have been raised with Christseek the things that are abovewhere Christ isseated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are abovenot on things that are on earth. For you have diedand your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:5-10 says,

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Colossians 3:12-15 says,

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Colossians 4:1-2 says,

Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

Colossians 4:5-6 says,

Walk in wisdom toward outsidersmaking the best use of the time. Let your speech always be graciousseasoned with saltso that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

  • The Sufficiency of Christ (1-4)

sufficiency

:  meaning to meet one’s needs

Paul also laces a single theme throughout the entire book of Colossians. That theme is: the sufficiency of Christ. As believers we can have hope in the fact that Christ is more than sufficient to meet all of our needs according to His will. His will may not always be ours, but it is always for His glory and in that we can take part and have hope.

Colossians 1:21-22 says,

And youwho once were alienated and hostile in minddoing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.

 Colossians 3:23-25 says,

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.


Overwhelmed? It isn’t as hard as we make it out to be… we just have to be willing to devote ourselves and our time to proper interpretation of God’s Word.

Tim Chaffey once said,

God is capable of accurately relaying His Word to us in a way that we can understand. It is crucial that we interpret properly to determine the intended meaning rather than forcing ideas into the text.

A person can spend his or her entire life and still never come close to mining the depths of Scripture. The Bible is written in such a marvelous way that a child can understand the basic message, and yet the most educated theologians continue to learn new things from the Bible as they study it. There is always so much more to learn, so we must humbly approach the Word of God.

 

Why Study the Old Testament?

Have you ever been watching a movie and felt completely lost?

I have.

I once made the mistake of allowing a friend of mine convince me to watch the second “Matrix” movie with him without having seen the first. He responded to my countless questions graciously… but in the end, I was completely lost with no hope of ever fully grasping what was going on due to missing context and foreknowledge of the plot. I would never understand until seeing the first movie in the series.

Don’t get me wrong… I did enjoy the movie and had basic knowledge of what I had seen in the context that I had seen it. But, I had no idea as to how what I ad observed and understood fit into the larger puzzle that was the “Matrix” series.

It seems as if one of the recent trends within the church is creating this exact issue for us as Believers. Many churches, denominations, congregations, pastors, and theologians have placed an emphasis on the New Testament alone.

Why is that?

I have heard things ranging from, “We are under the New Testament after the death of Christ” to, “the Old Testament is just too boring to read.” Both of these statements actually catch me off guard when thinking about them, but I have to admit that I am probably guilty of placing the New Testament in front of the Old Testament in importance as well. So why should we study the Old Testament as modern believers?

While it is Biblically accurate to distinguish between the testaments and between salvation by law (OT) and salvation by grace (NT), it does not in our wildest dreams mean that the first three-fourths of the Bible should be dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant for the “modern” Christian. In fact, if we read the New Testament fully and carefully we will see how closely tied it is to the Old Testament and how important the Old Testament was and is to the New Testament church. So… why should “New Testament Christians” read the Old Testament? Let’s think together.


  • It is God’s Word.

The first answer to our question is that the Old Testament is important simply because it’s God’s Word.

End of story. Isn’t that enough?

God’s word is eternal. God is a never changing God and in order to understand love and mercy we have to see both testaments for what they are. Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that,

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

In the times of Christ the Old Testament was all they had and that seemed to be enough for them and they deemed it worthy to read and dedicate to heart and mind. In fact, the Old Testament was the Bible of Jesus. He read from it, quoted it, interpreted it, and declared Himself to be the fulfillment of many of its promises. In Matthew 5:17 Jesus says,

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

The fact that the Old Testament is God’s Word, the same as the New Testament, should be enough to cause us to want to read it and hold it as important! If not, then surely the fact that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ deemed it as important should cause us to view it in a refreshed light. If we truly desire to be like Christ then we better get familiar with the Old Testament.

  • It helps us learn the character of God.

The Old Testament also helps us to learn the character of God. Scriptures found within the Old Testament do well to point us to Christ. I have found that the Old Testament reveals to us the nature of our hearts in comparison to what they should be, and tells us what our BIG problem is.

In a counseling session I was involved in recently the individual I was ministering to just kept repeating that he didn’t know how he had gotten the way that he is, and that he couldn’t understand what his problem was. He had no comprehension of the Old Testament or the curse of Adam that fell upon all mankind in Genesis. Ultimately, he had no context for individual sin and it caused him to repeatedly become frustrated.

The good thing about the Bible is that not only does it tell us our problem, but it also explains to us how we got this way. After giving us a pretense and context the Old Testament also helps to explain to us why God had to do what He did to redeem us! The Old Testament provides us context and allows us to know what God did and accomplished throughout all of Scripture including both the Old and New Testaments.

The story of redemptive history that culminates in Jesus Christ has its origins in the Old Testament. The Bible may have two individual testaments, but it tells one essential comprehensive story!

  • It is the first half.

Just like I struggled to understand the sequel to the first Matrix movie without context of the plot and characters we might find ourselves enlightened more if we read the Old Testament just like I was when I finally watched that first movie.

Did you know that there are more than 300 direct quotations of the Old Testament to be found throughout the New Testament? I actually read that if one counts partial quotations or allusions, the number jumps to more than 2,000, and that material accounts for about 10 percent of the New Testament, or about the same amount devoted to the recorded words of Jesus! Incredible.

The Old Testament lays the foundation for the teachings and events found in the New Testament. The Bible is a progressive revelation even if we don’t always view it in that way. If you skip the first half of any good book or movie and try to finish it, you will have a hard time understanding the characters, the plot, and the ending. In the same way, the New Testament is only completely understood when we see its foundation of the events, characters, laws, sacrificial system, covenants, and promises of the Old Testament.

It is clear that the authors of the New Testament believed the Old Testament to be the word of God. Acts 1:15-20 says,

In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and “‘Let another take his office.’

The writers of the New Testament used the Old Testament in their histories, sermons, letters, and even their prayers. They used it to prove that Jesus was the Messiah, to offer instruction, and to argue or defend theological points. In that time the Old Testament was the primary authority they cited in their declaration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the end, the New Testament is prefaced upon the Old Testament and without an understanding or grasping of the ideals and content of the Old Testament then the New Testament can’t be grasped or understood fully for what it is and means. The Old Testament is informative and is used to inform us on the ways and things of God, lots of passages in Old Testament speak to things that haven’t occurred yet and can be seen as prophetic and can even provide hope and reinforcement for believers in the context of the New Testament.

  • It deepens understanding.

Lastly, my favorite point is the fact that an understanding of the Old Testament helps us to ward off heresies. Many heresies begin like this, “Did God really say…(fill in the blank)?” We would be quicker to spot false teachings and prophecies with an understanding of both Testaments rather than only understanding one or the other.

Any informed follower or student would work to know all of the teachings and all of the material. When preparing for a comprehensive exam one doesn’t only study the latest material… you would fail. When preparing a legal defense a lawyer doesn’t just view the latest evidence… a full understanding of the case is necessary for receiving the desired results. When in boot camp one doesn’t just learn how to bandage and treat wounds… One learns how to fight and prevent them too. If we want to be prepared and fully equipped Christians then we should have a desire to know ALL of God’s Word. We are called to be faithful, and insight into the Old Testament helps in that endeavor.

We should have a longing to hear from Him and understand all of His Words. That longing will cause us to read all of what He has given us.


In summary, the Old Testament allows us to learn how to love and serve God, and it reveals more about God’s character. It shows through repeatedly fulfilled prophecy why the Bible is unique among holy books, and it alone is able to demonstrate that it is what it claims to be: the inspired Word of God.

Rejection: It hurts!

On February 17, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York, a young man named Michael was born. His family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, when he was very young and he was one of 5 siblings. His father worked as a General Electric plant supervisor, and his mother worked at a bank. Young Michael, like many young men, loved sports but despite his attempts he failed to make his high school basketball team as a sophomore because of a “lack of skill.” Not swayed long by the rejection he continued to practice as if his very life depended on it and he made the team the next year.

His determination and resilience paid off. The same young man who “lacked the skill” to play 10th grade basketball not only finished out an impressive high school basketball career, but he also accepted a basketball scholarship to the University of North Carolina, where he played under head coach Dean Smith and became the ACC Rookie of the Year in 1982.

Obviously the Michael we are referring to is now acclaimed as the “best basketball player to have ever played.” He is Michael Jordan. He left North Carolina after his junior year and was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the third pick of the 1984 NBA draft. Before joining the Bulls, Jordan was a member of the Summer 1984 United States Olympic basketball team that won the gold medal in Los Angeles, California. Michael Jordan would play 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association and win various titles and awards.

A man that could have let his rejection define him is now known as one of the most clutch and iconic basketball players ever. He turned his rejection and disappointment into determination and later success.

There are numerous stories that unravel just like this!

  • TV personality Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a reporter because she was “unfit for TV.” She later became the host of her own program “The Oprah Winfrey show” which aired 25 sessions before launching her own TV Network. Oprah Winfrey Network.
  • Author JK Rowling was sacked as a secretary because she was a “day dreamer.” 12 publishers then rejected her after writing her first “Harry Potter” novel. That very novel would later make her a billionaire.
  • Director Steven Spielberg was turned down 3 times by the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television. Undeterred he carried on and earned his BA and became one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema with Academy Awards for Best Director for “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.” He also achieved Box Office records for “Jaws, E.T, and Jurassic Park.”
  • Musical icon Elvis Presley was told by the Grand Ole Opry manager, Jimmy Denny, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.” Yet Elvis became an American singer and is now referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll.”
  • Lastly, composer Ludwig van Beethoven was referred to as “hopeless” in his early life by his music teacher. Beethoven would later become one of the most famous and influential of all composers whose best-known compositions included 9 symphonies, 5 concertos for piano, 32 piano sonatas, and 16 string quartets.

The point of all of those stories is to point out that we all experience rejection, and nobody is exempt or immune to it’s countless forms. I personally believe at the core of all rejection is a desire to feel valued. We can’t feel rejection unless we first want something that we feel like we don’t already have whether it is attention, success, achievement, praise, perceived worth, confidence, to feel connected, etc… At the core of our desires is a longing for a sense of stability or feeling of importance. Rejection keeps us from what we want. We can turn rejection is the enemy, or that obstacle we can’t move past. We can allow rejection to define us.

Rejection wants us to give up… and if we do then rejection has won. It has defined us.

I found it interesting that in a recent University of Michigan study they found that physical pain and intense feelings of rejection “hurt” in the same way. The study demonstrates that the same regions of the brain that become active in response to painful sensory experiences are activated during intense experiences of social rejection. This study went on to show that higher levels of rejection in a person’s life result in “more negative self-feelings and reductions of self-esteem.” Repeated rejection can literally change our brains. When we face rejection one too many times, our brain learns to protect us. How many of us have experienced this? We’re rejected and suddenly we’re afraid of trying again.

Everyone encounters rejection in this fallen world, and as painful as rejection can be, it doesn’t have to work against us. Rejection can actually work for us if we use the experience as a positive opportunity to create a new season of success in your life or allow God to speak to us through it. Our rejection, like our pain, is not meaningless. (You can find a previous blog on this topic here: https://tannerroyalty.com/2015/12/02/damascus/)

John Piper said this in a message on pain, but I believe it can be said about rejection as well. He said,

Not only is all your affliction momentary, not only is all your affliction light in comparison to eternity and the glory there. But all of it is totally meaningful. Every millisecond of your pain, from the fallen nature or fallen man, every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that. I don’t care if it was cancer or criticism. I don’t care if it was slander or sickness. It wasn’t meaningless. It’s doing something! It’s not meaningless. Of course you can’t see what it’s doing. Don’t look to what is seen. When your mom dies, when your kid dies, when you’ve got cancer at forty, when a car careens into the sidewalk and takes her out, don’t say, “That’s meaningless!” It’s not. It’s working for you an eternal weight of glory. Therefore, therefore, do not lose heart. But take these truths and day by day focus on them. Preach them to yourself every morning. Get alone with God and preach his word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for.

So… as leaders, church members, and believers in general we are guaranteed to experience rejection in one form or another. Rejection isn’t always easy to deal with, here’s a few quick ways we can respond when we experience rejection. Let’s think together.


  • Ask the right questions.

Most of us are well-acquainted with disappointment. All of us, at some point, will battle feelings of disappointment when life goes wrong. I think it is almost natural for us to believe deep down that because of our faith and salvation we should have a special immunity against trouble.

We see an example of a version of this thinking in Mark 10:23-31 where it says says,

And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Peter tried to remind Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you.” Peter was asking the wrong question.

After all, it’s hard to ask the right question when you’re feeling disappointed! It’s hard to ask “what now?” or “what else?” when your dreams have been shattered or your heart hurts from pain, disappointment, or rejection. But I believe that our lives will begin to change when we start asking God, “What would you have me do now?” when we come up short or something doesn’t come through like we feel it was supposed to. Now obviously the correct question or response doesn’t and won’t take the pain away, but typically we will find that God is eager to show is what He wants us to do next.

Sometimes we need to stop talking and just listen and obey.

If you are like me, my natural tendency is to complain when I feel disappointed or rejected. But unfortunately for me, complaining to other people never helps solve the issue… typically it just makes it worse and intensifies the pain. But, in His grace, God asks us to take our heartaches to him.

Matthew 11:28-29 says,

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Psalm 55:22 says,

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Philippians 4:6 says,

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Casting our burdens on God is wise because He’s capable of doing something about it, while we are not. God has the power to change us, our situation, or both. He knows all the facts, He knows the future, and He has the perspective that we lack. When we learn to respond correctly and ask the right questions when rejected or disappointed we will begin to have answers revealed to us.

  • Don’t allow rejection and discouragement to define you.

Life is a journey. In the same way many of our ideas, goals, and relationships are journeys as well. Rarely do we end up where we saw ourselves being twenty years ago. The problem with long-term goals is that they can change.

Many things take a process to get it to where they need to be… us included! If you had asked me 10 years ago if I ever envisioned myself working for a church I would’ve answered with a bold “no!” Having an idea turned down, a vision rejected, or a goal changed doesn’t mean we have failed. Ultimately it means that we have received feedback, guidance, or correction and we now can adapt and overcome by approaching in a different way.

We mustn’t allow ourselves to be sensitive when we get rejected. We must learn to not place your identity in what you create, or goals, dreams, or visions and whether or not they turn out or happen according to plan. Here is an exerpt from a previous blog of mine (you can find it here: https://tannerroyalty.com/2015/05/13/who-are-you/),

Too often, people base their identities on what they do or in the acceptance of others, and the perceived expectations that come along with that acceptance… whether it is a job, hobby, relationship, or even positive or negative remarks from peers.

Traditionally, we’ve been taught to find the answer in one place…we are what we do. If I write, then I’m a writer. If I play music, then I am a musician. If I play a sport, then I’m an athlete. The world creates easy definitions of people and we look to those definitions far too often. We like to define ourselves based upon what we do. Somehow we have been deceived and allowed the things that, for the most part, we have dominion and control over to define us as people. We are allowing our identity and self worth to be found amongst the things of the world.

Are you being controlled or limited by the things that you allow to define you?

The truth is that God intends for all people to find their identity in Him alone. Our effectiveness as pastors and worship pastors is hinged upon us becoming comfortable with the people God has created us to be. Our identity is found and secured in Christ alone when we begin to follow him… we must simply accept that identity and pursue it wholeheartedly.


Ultimately, rejection is part of the process that we all go through in this thing called life. Don’t be discouraged when it happens. Understand that it’s not an attack on you personally, but use it as an opportunity to grow and develop. Allow God to guide and shape you. Don’t allow the things you control to define you. Take time to stop talking and listen to what He has to say.