“Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:48).

Many people are familiar with the book Gone with the Wind, and even more have viewed the movie adaptation that was filmed in 1939 starring famous Hollywood actor Clark Gable. But what many people don’t realize is that the novel written by Margaret Mitchell was rejected 38 times by publishers before finally being accepted. It went on to sell30 million copies. What if Margaret Mitchell had given up after her 38th rejection, as most of us probably would have done?

Bartimaeus, the blind man in Mark 10:46-52, faced a similar situation. He had been rebuked and rejected by the crowd—not because he had done anything wrong or because of his sin, but merely because those around him were annoyed by his presence and his clamour (Mark 10:48). They wanted him to be silent.

A distraction to the crowd, they gave him a rebuke, but not in the godly sense. Their words were pure discouragement. They were negative. Bartimaeus must have recognized the nature of their criticism, because he ignored it and continued to cry out to Jesus, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” He finally attracted Jesus’ attention and received healing at the work of His hands (Mark 10:52).

Similarly, we must be able to discern between godly rebuke, which is important and life-giving to us, and ungodly discouraging words. There are times when someone is giving us hard words for our good, and we need to listen to what they’re saying (Matthew 18:15-17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). But there are other times when we face discouragement or lies from Satan or from other people. During those times, we need to recognize the lies for what they are and cry out to Jesus all the louder. He loves and welcomes even when others reject us.

This passage first appeared on http://www.ourdailyjourney.org/

Ignoring Discouraging Words