When my friend, Shelia, invited me to her Sunday school class, I hesitated, uncertain about fitting in. But since her friend, Kate, taught the class, I agreed to visit.
Hoping I found the right classroom, I quietly slipped in and scanned the group for a familiar face. No one seemed to notice that I had entered the room. I found a seat near the door, in case I needed to make a quick getaway. I fiddled with my purse, hoping my insecurity would not be obvious. When I scanned the classroom, my eyes were met by Kate’s cold stare. I looked in my purse again, pretending to search for a pencil, as I wondered, Am I in the right place? Is this a closed group? Have I done something to offend her? Maybe I’m reading her wrong.
As I fought the urge to leave, I gripped the edge of the cold, metal seat and leaned forward just as Shelia walked in. Her warm smile calmed my nerves. And when she chose the chair next to me, I found the courage to stay.
After several painful interactions with Kate over the next few months, I listened to some sound advice from my husband, Dan: “Karen, some people just aren’t going to like you. Try to move on beyond her dislike of you.”
Being rejected is very painful, but this promise from God’s Word always comforts me, assuring me of God’s unconditional love:
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. (Rom. 8:38–39 NLT)
What lessons have you learned from difficult relationships?
What verses from the Bible have helped you face conflicts in relationships when you felt rejected, judged, or betrayed?
Consider a few instances of conflict that you have had with other people. Were they resolved? If so, how?