Rejection is something that every human being experiences. It starts as a seed planted in our lives through various things that happen to us. The enemy of our life and destiny seeks to turn that seed into a root that will grow continual bad fruit or become a stronghold. God’s plan of the renewing of the mind lays the axe of truth to the root of these strongholds in us (Luke 3:9; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Romans 12:1-3).
Rejection is a regular part of every area of life’s relationships (childhood; family; school; sports; college; business/job; church) so a strategy of avoiding it is not the right one. Rejection hurts and can make us feel small, worthless, and unwanted. Feelings of rejection can lead to anger (like it did to Cain), self-criticism/blame, and negative thoughts/feelings of inadequacy. Repeated, continual rejection is difficult for anyone to endure; also, when our emotional battery is run down or fatigue sets in, we cannot handle rejection situations as well. We all like to be liked and loved. This is normal and human. The added thing about rejection in relationships that stings us is when there is betrayal and dishonesty.
As Christians, Jesus warned us that we would face rejection because our faith, values, morals, and His Kingdom is not of this world. To be rejected means to be thrown away or cast aside and can imply you have no value. If you have been deeply hurt by rejection fear of rejection often causes us to think and feel we are being rejected when it is not really the cause. It makes us defensive and suspicious. To operate out of rejection or even the fear of rejection can set off a great deal of internal anger and lead to violence toward others. Satan’s ultimate goal is to intensify our pain to get us to reject ourselves and to even destroy ourselves.
The pain of rejection can be so intense that we build defense systems to protect us from pain. Instead of trusting God for emotional protection and dealing with pain we experience His way, we develop rejection protection patterns that become walls to hide behind. These walls create blockage to intimacy, prevent involvement in relationships, and keep others out but trap us in. Some of those defense mechanisms are:
A. INNER VOWS – promises we make to ourselves.
(1) “I will never let anyone do this to me.”
(2) “You cannot trust anyone.”
(3) “I’ll never open up to anyone again.”
B. PRETENSE – false show of something.
(1) “You cannot hurt me.”
(2) “I really do not care.”
(3) “It does not really bother me.”
C. SELF-DEFENSE – we defend ourselves and strike back.
(1) We are hurt so we hurt them.
(2) “I will get mad, angry, and make you feel more miserable than you made me feel.”
D. VERBAL DEFENSE – we try to convince others we are right. We justify ourselves by getting other people’s opinions swayed to agree with our opinion.
E. BUYING PROTECTION – blessing people to get them to love and not reject us. This often causes us to neglect higher priority relationships.
F. PERFECTIONISM – “I will be perfect so you cannot reject me.
(1) “I will never make a mistake, so you cannot reject me.”
(2) This increases anxiety and weariness because we push ourselves unrealistically.
(3) Perfectionism is the underlying motive present in the fear of failure and fear of rejection.
(4) It says, “If I am not perfect, I will fail and/or I will be rejected by others.”
(5) Tyranny of the “oughts.” People or God could be pleased with me if only I would of…could of…should of.
G. PEOPLE PLEASERS – do whatever to please others even though you do not agree inside and it compromises your integrity.
(1) This is the fear of man and it brings a snare.
(2) You please men at the expense of pleasing God.
You can overcome all of this if you will begin to look to God (His Word and His Holy Spirit) as the source of your approval, recognition, and affirmation instead of people. People’s rejection of us is not God’s opinion of us. This might sound impossible to you if you are presently in emotional pain due to rejection but you can get to a place that rejection will not bother you or adjust your day (Psalm 119:165; Luke 10:19).
1. Establish your heart in who you are in Christ. Who you are in Christ is who you are by the grace of God. “In Christ,” is your position and standing by the grace of God. The Apostle Paul said it this way in 1 Corinthians 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
2. Gain knowledge of your redemption for Jesus bore your rejection so you do not have to bear it and you can release the hurt from it and go free. He suffered and substituted for you and part of that was “He was despised and rejected of men… Isaiah 53:3.”
3. Ask the Holy Spirit, The Spirit of Truth and the Comforter, to do a deep work of His power in your heart to establish it in God’s love for you. He loved us before we were perfect (Romans 5:8). The Late Dr. Lester Sumrall who traveled the world and was in over 120 nations said this in a meeting with ministers, “Wherever I went, people were against me and I was not needed or wanted by them. Someone else was always there saying ‘we don’t need you, we can do what you do, so get away.’ A deep work of the Holy Spirit needs to be done in our lives to get that rejection and condemnation out. Accept in your spirit that you are needed whether people realize it or not. God will use you and you are not where you are to fail. Don’t talk like you aren’t convinced just because they aren’t.”