Have I really ever rejected Him? I grew up in Sunday school with all the “Jesus Loves Me” songs and I can’t really ever remember of being rejecting of Him.
While we often think of rejection of God according to a religious framework — that is, as if we would have had to openly express a rejection of him or make an inward affront toward him — our rejection of God was expressed in our rejection of others … including our own rejections of ourselves. As the flesh is to one it is to another, whether it is cloaked behind our own Pollyanna delusions. But we are no longer of the flesh if Christ is in us!
When I write about a rejection of others and ourselves, I speak according to what I have learned of myself. The thing is, I had always seen myself pretty much as you have described of your upbringing in the Sunday School environment singing “Jesus Loves Me.” Aside from a rare outburst here or there, I was mostly complacent and obliging to those around me. At least, I thought so. Actually, it seems quite a few others in my life also thought similar, for I was known as the good boy, for I was often compared to my brother, the bad boy.
One of the things that disturbed me after enrolling in Bible college was that I didn’t have a very good testimony regarding my need for salvation because I didn’t have any bad boy stories to contrast to my being saved. The thought did hit me that perhaps I wasn’t looking hard enough or that I was denying my sin! My God, maybe I wasn’t saved after all! It sometimes seemed that I needed to have done more bad stuff in my life so I could verify my salvation!!!
Something came to a head for me when I first saw the movie A Christmas Story back in the 80’s. I was undone during the course of that story because I saw a kid who was just like me in so many ways. What I saw was myself, one who was so totally wrapped up in himself that he couldn’t see anything else apart from serving his own desires. I didn’t need any particular things (sins or misdeeds) by which to convince me that I needed Christ’s salvation. Salvation itself took on a whole new meaning!
Though I knew the Bible verses about all rejecting Christ, I had never seen myself as one who did. I came to realize that rejection didn’t need any notable memories — even though I was at that time flooded with a lifetime of mini-memories all at once — but that rejection was tied into the life of the flesh. The truth of being rescued from the domain of darkness and being transferred into the kingdom of God’s son became so real to me that it rocked my world! Whew!
Maybe God will show you of your “former existence” in a similar way … or maybe not. For me, it has remained nothing short of amazing to know that who I was is no different than any other, regardless how apparent their rejection might be and how unapparent mine was, and still might be.