Reject that rejection
Jephthah did not accidently become the ninth judge of Israel. In fact, he would have ended up a nonentity, if not that he had known what it meant to reject rejection. One “dark morning, “he was expelled from his father’s house by his stepbrothers. The charge against him was that he was the son of a harlot because their father was not legally married to Jephthah’s mother. What an appalling rejection! Consequently, they told Jephthah that he does not have a right of inheritance to their father’s property. This, of course, was not his fault.
His brothers drove him out of the house and Jephthah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob, where he also met fellow outcasts like him. Interestingly, rather than getting involved in some of the mistakes some people make at a time of rejection such as resigning oneself to fate, rejecting God, self-pity, resorting to bad way of living and suicidal attempts, Jephthah chose to locate God and to look inwards. He found God and also found the potentials that God had deposited of him.
Jephthah was gifted with military potentials and he decided to develop, and sharpen his skills. He invested so much in self-development that he soon became a brand name in martial arts. He afterwards trained fellow outcasts like him that he met in the land of Tob with his skills. With his military skills, he and his gang were helping out nations invaded by their enemies to subdue them. Not too long, Jephthah’s popularity in military exploits spread abroad to the extent that his own people that rejected him heard about it. The Bible describes Jephthah as a mighty warrior (Judges 11:1).
One day, the same people who rejected him came back to him pleading that he would come back and lead the fight against the Ammonites who are fighting against Israel. Judges 11:6, “Come,” they said, “be our commander, so we can fight the Ammonites.”
Another very important point to note is that Jephthah negotiated with the elders of Israel, when they came for him. He said, “Jephthah answered, suppose you take me back to fight the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me—will I really be your head?” (Judges 11:9). You must learn how to negotiate for a better deal, when opportunities smile at you. Don’t throw yourself so cheap before the people you are negotiating with, having spent resources developing yourself.
Like every one of us, Jephthah had marks in the plus column and in the minus column. He had areas of his life that were extraordinary, while other areas were problematic. We are all in the same boat. We all have strengths and weaknesses, but the Lord can use us and make something special out of our lives. There may be a cycle of sin in our background, but it can be broken today!
Jephthah walked through some hard places in his life, yet he overcame all the obstacles in his life and he accomplished great things for the Lord.
He was a man rejected by his family, outcast by society and written off by everyone who should have cared about him. Yet, in the end Jephthah became the leader of his people.
Have you been rejected by people? You do not have to also reject yourself. Rather, you have to rise above that rejection. You have to make a decision today to stretch yourself to hit a mark of distinction, and one of these days, they will come back asking for your favour. Explore the hidden potentials in you, work on them and God will bring you to perfection. No man can ignore a man that the Lord has refined. You are relevant to be regretted.
Today’s Nugget: Do not reject yourself, even if others do.
Prayer: Lord, teach me the virtues of self-acceptance and personal development.
Prayer lines: 09078154261.
Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Nigeria.
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