Implementing new things or ideas generally suffers rejection and contention. The reasons for these contentions and rejections ranges from previous denials from a similar idea or a threat to livelihood. Some people may protest against the establishment of your church in their community only because a previous church rejected them. Some people may reject the establishment of your factory in their community because a previous factory had messed up their community. Some others may raise a contention only because they directly benefit from what’s already existing and they don’t think you’re good enough to replace it.
Studying through history and the lives of great men, I can point to two things that will help a man of purpose and vision overcome rejections and contention. Let me share them with you:
When John Wesley and his brother started preaching about predestination, they suffered rejection from the church of England. The church of England believed that salvation had to be by works, and so they had restrictions as to who could attend church services and receive the sacraments. Although the Wesleys began their Christian journey with the same belief, but their latter encounter with the Holy Spirit renewed their understanding about Christianity.
So they began the Methodist movement. They preached salvation by faith and not by works. If God’s salvation was free to all and free for all, then there should be no class restrictions to limit who could come to church. Since they weren’t allowed to establish a church yet, they started having meetings where everyone and every class was welcomed. This was a significant departure from the restrictions imposed by the Church of England.
The Wesley brothers moved on not only to preach the Gospel, but also to organize societies to ensure that God’s will for all could be done on earth, just as it was in heaven. In 1742, the Wesley brothers established an orphanage and Sunday school in Newcastle. Four years later, in 1746, they established the first of many medical clinics for the poor in London. Clearly, they wouldn’t have had these inspirations if they didn’t focus on their vision.
Focus on the assignment, not the rejections. Anything you focus on will expand. Small things naturally grow big with focus. Focus has power to transform anything, and nothing can resist its transformative effect. Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Nobody cares about your vision until they know how much your vision can contribute to their lives. So focus on the contribution, not the rejection or contention.
I remember when I started my teaching and writing ministry, I had friends and family members who rejected my articles. Some of them even blocked me so that I won’t be able to send them articles. But I didn’t let all that deter me, I was focused. Today, many of them secretly follow me. I used to be worried that I didn’t have followers, but today, I worry for those who are not following. And that’s because they’d have a lot of catching up to do when they eventually realize that it’s working.
– BE PEOPLE MINDED
It’s true that the purpose of your assignment is to impact the lives of people, but what many purpose-driven people haven’t realized is that the people your vision impacts will eventually become your defence. The more people you impact, the more formidable you become.
The ruffians and some other groups who were rejected by the Church of England gave the Wesleys a tough time. I read that they caused great harm to the establishment of the methodists society within their communities. However, because the Wesley’s belief accommodated every class, including the ruffians, it wasn’t long before the rejection and contention from them ceased. Once the ruffians and the other poor sects became identified with Christ, the Wesleys won over great multitudes of people. After a while, the multitudes who followed the Wesleys took over the battles and attacks launched against the Wesleys by comrades of the Church of England. When this began to happen, the Wesleys had peace and could now focus on expanding the methodist movement.
When the Sahendrine council detained the Apostles for healing the man at the Beautiful Gate, you’d recall that one of the things that restrained them from hurting the Apostles was because they had a great multitudes of people who believed in their doctrine already.
Think about it, the reason why Jesus was crucified was because the voice of those who insisted that he should be crucified was more than those who objected. Those who spoke for him were less than those who spoke against him. It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t have people, but they were not present at that deciding moment. Isn’t this what is happening in our nation, the people of the world have continued to decide the fate of Believers because we don’t position ourselves when we are needed.
People power can never be ignored when it comes to manifesting purpose. Recall Acts 18:9-10, the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace. For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. Did you see that? Nobody will hurt you because I have much people in this city.
It’s not that people won’t contend with you, but you won’t be the one responding to them, rather it will be your people. And that means no hurt can come to you. I used to feel bad when people made bad comments on my posts, but that feeling has since stopped. Because even before I read the comment, those who follow me would have already responded. So what should have made me feel hurt would turn to laughter. And if I happen to see the comment first, I don’t respond because I know my followers will do justice😂.
So focus, and as lives are transformed, have faith in them to defend your purpose.
I hope this has brought enlightenment to someone.
Remain ever blessed, in Jesus precious name!