Sunday, September 13, 2020

When Rejection Comes

by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

He was a washed-up shoe salesman, caught up in a town-gossiping war. 

In the Andy Griffith episode, Those Gossipin’ Men, Aunt Bee and a friend sat in the local drug store, enjoying a cool drink on a hot day. While spreading a little gossip among themselves, they were startled when a stranger came in and tried to sell them a pair of shoes. Surprised because he didn’t try extremely hard. In fact, they labeled him as the “tamest shoe salesman” they’d ever seen. He offered once, they said no, and he went on about his business. Little did he know a gossiping war between the ladies of the town and the men who hung around at Floyd’s Barber Shop would soon engulf him.

Prior to the salesman’s arrival, Andy had come into the drug store to get sulfur powder. Barney had cut his finger while cleaning his pistol. The cut was small, but several hours later, someone called the sheriff’s office to report that Barney had shot himself in the chest and had died. When Aunt Bea and her friend hurried to console Andy, they got a surprise when Barney entered…still standing. Andy accused them of being the biggest gossipers in town. 


The tame traveling shoe salesman gave Aunt Bee and her friend an opportunity to prove to Andy that just as much gossip came out of Floyd’s Barber Shop. So, when Andy and Barney asked who the stranger was, the two women planted a seed of doubt in their “conceited” male minds by questioning the traveling salesman’s honesty. He didn’t seem eager to sell shoes. 


Initially, Andy dismissed their suspicions and again accused them of spreading gossip. But then, he himself became suspicious. Before long, he and the other men in town had turned a washed-up shoe salesman into a New York City television producer. Andy and the other men in town gathered their sons and daughters, ushered them to the man’s hotel room, and had them audition for the traveling salesman. In the process, they bought numerous pairs of shoes—so much so that the failed salesman set a company record for a day’s sales. The traveling salesman came to town a rejected mess, but left a success.


Eliab knew a little about rejection too—as did all young David’s brothers. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT).


As they passed before Samuel—the prophet God had sent to their father’s house to select the next king of Israel—they each felt the sting of rejection. And imagine how much more humiliating the experience when they discovered God had chosen their younger sheep-tending brother. 


Rejection in life is inevitable. We’ll be turned down for promotions, teams, dates, marriage proposals, jobs, projects, clubs, community organizations, writing assignments, and book proposals. And we cannot deny that rejection hurts. Acceptance is one of our basic needs, but not every person will accept us. Nor will everything we attempt to do gain approval from others.


The good news is that while others may reject us or the things we propose, God never will. God selected David because He knew David was a boy (and would later be a man) after God’s own heart. In that respect, nothing has changed. God accepts every person who wants to love and serve Him. No turning away. No turning down. 


Life teaches us—often the hard way—that rejection is a part of our existence. But not as it relates to our walk with God. He always walks by our side. Nothing we do will drive Him away. Nothing we face will be so intense that He can’t see us through it. And He will love and accept us…no matter what. Now and throughout eternity. 


Let God’s acceptance bring you the comfort you need when others reject you or something you’ve done.


When Rejection Comes - Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Martin Wiles is the founder of Love Lines from God ( and serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions, Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, and Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. He has authored six books and has been published in numerous publications. His most recent book, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes in a Busy World, released in December 2019. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, author, and pastor.


  1. Great reminders, Martin. I need to continually remind myself that no matter what I do in life, my aim is to please God rather than people. (I remember that Andy Griffith episode--a good story!)

  2. Thank you, Martin. Rejection is a theme in my life, not in writing, but with some family members. I've always found solace in knowing that Jesus, too, was rejected, but it seems like I sometimes need a reminder that rejection is part of our existence and that not every person will accept us or respond to our attempts to gain approval. Jesus loves me, this I know.

  3. Rejection can be hard. Thank you for the reminder that God will comfort us in all times.