Jia Jiang feared rejection so much that it consumed his life. He decided to face his fear with an experiment. For one hundred days in a row, he chose to be rejected in a different way daily.
He asked a stranger for $100.
He asked another stranger to let him plant a flower in his backyard.
He requested a burger refill (rather than a soda refill) at a hamburger joint.
He got a no, a no, and a no.
But he quickly learned something: the more he was rejected, the more he realized that rejection wasn’t as bad as he feared. He also learned from each encounter about people and about himself.
One day he asked a lady at Krispy Kreme to make a donut shaped and colored like the Olympic rings. Remarkably, she said, “Why not?” The video of her creation went viral, reaching over five million views online. Jia’s experiment soon made him a sensation, leading to his delivering a TED talk and writing a book on his experience. In fact, his experiment brought him so much fame he had to start rejecting people’s requests for his time.
No one loves rejection. But as Jia learned, it’s not as bad as we think.
After teaching evangelism for thirty-plus years, I’ve observed two primary fears keeping believers from sharing Jesus with others. The first is the fear of rejection.
I wish I could tell you how to share Christ so no one would reject it, but that’s not realistic. The gospel is an offense to many who are perishing. We want to share Christ as winsomely as possible. How do we overcome this fear?
Understand the role of rejection. Rejection comes with being a follower of Christ. Jesus was rejected by His own people. A true prophet in Israel faced rejection for His message. Jesus told us we are blessed when people revile us (Matt. 5:11). A variety of Christianity that is focused on comfort and blessing will not push believers to value rejection for the gospel, but a deep love for Christ will push us to face adversity for His name.
We should see rejection less as an obstacle and more as an opportunity to grow. Rejection can actually be vital to our discipleship. We can learn from the times we are rejected, becoming better at communicating the gospel and increasingly accepting rejection as a part of the path of following Christ.