Rejection hits like an atom bomb in our soul. Personal rejection can be described as someone refusing to accept what we offer or they believing something bad about us. We feel attacked and misunderstood.
Recently I felt sick in the depths of my stomach and my soul when I felt rejected. Rejection can be a very hopeless feeling.
Whenever you feel rejected, here are three points for hope.
1. We can understand where the feelings of rejection originated.
Rejection can bring up the lies we believed or felt about us in childhood. In that moment, we feel as if we’re back being that little girl or boy when we felt horrible as someone attacked us emotionally or physically. It feels like all the resources and truth we know as adults about God are thrown out the window. We’re back to being voiceless, powerless, or without defense. The feelings are the same even though the situation is different.
In those moments, God offers hope through assuring us we aren’t the child any longer—thinking God isn’t there for us. Instead, the truth is God promises to be our refuge, help, protector, and give unconditional love. We may not see evidence of that like we’d prefer, but by faith we can tell ourselves our loving Savior is “for” us and is defending us more than we realize.
2. Rejection most often comes because the other person feels threatened in some way.
Most of the time, she is reacting out of her own pain or even feeling rejected or worthless herself. Even if we made a mistake or we reacted in a hurtful way, she is responsible before God to offer grace because He has forgiven her for so much. He offers the strength she needs to make a wise choice.
But so many of us respond to and are responded to by others out of past wounds. Unfortunately, we take the person’s attack personally and blame ourselves. Certainly we can take responsibility for our wrong choices but regardless, the other person is responsible for their response also. God wants to empower us to not take the attack personally but to offer an example of God’s grace of unconditional love. It is possible.
Romans 8:1 assures us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (ESV).
3. Rejection is the feeling of our worth and value being dismissed.
We believe the rejection is valid because we believe the lie someone else believes: “she is worthless,” “he is stupid,” “she has nothing of worth to offer,” and many other lies. But those are lies created by Satan against God’s beloved creation.
Not only were each of us created with God’s stamp of “good” at creation, even in our sin He demonstrates we are important and loved by Him through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. That act determines we are never rejected or reject-able by God.
In the first chapter of Ephesians, He says the opposite of rejection. He says we are loved, forgiven, blessed, redeemed, accepted, adopted, and many other truths of our identity. Only believing those truths will counteract the atom bomb going off in our soul and minds when we feel rejected. Indeed, our audience of One—God Himself—is still seeing us “in Christ” regardless of another person’s opinions.
Even though Jesus was rejected in many different ways, He responded with confidence. He refused to believe the rejection of His own family who believed Him crazy (Mark 3:21). Jesus didn’t respond to the rejection of the Pharisees, His own disciples, and even the betrayal of Judas and Peter. He knew His identity as God. Even as a human, He depended on who His Father said He was. That’s our challenge also.
What seems most important to you from these truths? How do you cope with those feelings of rejection? Would you share in the comment section below your thoughts?
(For more about these ideas, see my (and husband Larry’s) book: Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today.)