Webster’s definition of the word rejection as to refuse to accept or consider, casting off; one rejected as not wanted, unsatisfactory, or not fulfilling standard requirements. Rejection is an awful word but one with which most of us are quite familiar. Some of life’s most painful rejection comes from our earlier childhood experiences when we felt the pain of rejection when one of our peers is chosen to recite a poem or sing a song, or when a parent, grandparent, or someone you held in esteem rejects you.
I’m sure there are many other examples within your life when you were rejected. Maybe for no apparent reason, another person turned against you or said some thoughtless comment about you. Moreover, when you feel rejected, you tend to react in certain predictable ways. You often become angry with yourself, you feel unworthy, useless, or insignificant and assume that you have done something to deserve the rejection.
Margaret Mitchell received 38 letters of rejection from different publishers before finally finding one to publish her novel, “Gone with the Wind.” While writing this my thoughts were of the prodigal son in Luke 15 who rejected his father’s values. In 1 Kings 12, King Rehoboam succumbed to the pressure of the people. He rejected the good and sound advice of older wise men who had known his father Solomon and the mistakes he had made as king. Instead Rehoboam listened to the counsel of his peers, younger advisors with whom he had grown up. They were probably motivated by pride and a desire for power, and he was obviously swayed by their influence.
Unfortunately, we cannot shield ourselves from rejection no matter how hard we try. However, rejection is only destructive when we internalize it and allow it to creep into our belief system. Satan loves to fuel the fires of low self-esteem with intermittent forms of rejection. We cannot avoid rejection because we cannot control the way people feel about us. Some will like us automatically; others may reject us without reason. When we fail to accept ourselves, rejection has an open door to our emotions. The results are disastrous, a sense of unworthiness, a lack of self-acceptance, and an inability to build healthy relationships begin to move in.
We feel unworthy and likewise think others view us as being unworthy. If left unchecked, rejection will control our attitudes, actions, and even our relationship with God. So, how can we as individuals deal successfully with rejection? First, of all it requires honesty and a willingness to get to the source of the problem which is a poor view of our self-worth. We can never base our worth as a person on the opinion of others. If we do, we are sure to suffer disappointment and rejection.
Christ suffered the ultimate form of rejection. He was jeered, spat on, threatened, and finally put to death. His entire life was a sacrificial offering of forgiveness, acceptance, and unconditional love. Yet, everywhere He went, He faced rejection. Nevertheless, man’s view of Him never altered His focus. It could never damage what He knew to be true: He was eternally one with the heavenly Father, and He knew He was eternally loved.
Victory over the world’s rejection was His. He did not need the world’s approval because He already had the Father’s. You, too, are one with God (1 Corinthians 6:17). The victory is yours the minute you apply the truths of God’s Word to your life. You don’t need the approval of the world or its favor. All you will ever need has been provided for you through Jesus Christ and you can rest in His sufficiency and be totally content in knowing that His grace is forever yours.
If you are born again into God’s Family, you know that the eternal Creator has revealed Himself as a loving Father, and that He infinitely cares for you. Through His Son, Jesus Christ, God has shown Himself to be a Friend of sinners, and when in faith you accept the sin-atoning sacrifice of His Son, you receive the promise that you will never be forsaken or rejected by God. Hebrews 13:5, “… he hath said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” Only God can meet all your needs.
He is your sufficiency in every situation. You belong to God through your relationship with Jesus Christ. You hold a valued place in the family of God that no one else can occupy. (John 1:12; Romans 8:14-15) You are capable to work, live, and enjoy life because of the power that is yours in Jesus Christ. The next time rejection comes your way:
(1) Identify the source of the rejection and the accompanying feelings.
(2) Reaffirm your position in Christ. (Ephesians 2:6).
(3) Tell Him exactly what you are feeling knowing He understands the heartache of rejection and will use every trial to draw you closer to Himself.
(3) Lastly, recall the unchanging truth that you are unconditionally loved, totally accepted, and complete in Jesus Christ.