'I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.'
Then he [Boaz] said, 'Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.'
Most people fear rejection. I did. In truth, I still do sometimes (but far less than before). This particular form of fear can lead to lonely or compromising conclusions. One is bad; the other is worse. In both cases, Satan wins.
In the former, perhaps someone's been hurt by bad relationships... through abuse, betrayal or abandonment. I'm uncomfortably familiar with all three. One stinging result is shyness: where fear of failure invites isolation and prevents forward movement into new friendships.
In the latter, perhaps the fear of rejection leads to people-pleasing: which leads to foolish decisions, which leads to self-harm... and the harm of others.
Ruth took a bold step into a new relationship per her mother-in-law (Naomi's) direction. She refused to consider any fear of rejection. Instead, she moved faithfully forward. Because of Ruth's courage and virtue, Boaz agreed to her request.
I believe Christians must push the irrational fear of rejection out of the realms of their lives. Because when all is said and done, being 'Accepted in the Beloved' (Ephesians 1:6, NKJV) is what matters most. Even more, He has promised never to leave or forsake us.
Through the power of this most important communion, all human friendships and kinships will fall into their proper perspectives. The right ones will stick.The wrong ones will flee. Win-win for us and Team God.
## Fear: Of Rejection (Part 5)
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fear series.