Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
By Chris WittsSaturday 16 Jan 2021Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 4 minutes
In Part 1, I spoke to about getting past the fear of rejection—a big problem for many of us who have not learned how to move on from a bad experience of being rejected. Have you ever been rejected? I think you probably know what I’m talking about.
Some of us have experienced rejection worse than others, but we are all ‘walking wounded’ in one way or another. Perhaps your mother died when you were young and your dad was consumed with grief and withdrew. Maybe you were taught that you were unlovable, or only accepted when you behaved perfectly or had the right grades or married the right person. Or maybe your spouse ran out on you and left you to raise the kids, who are now rejecting you too.
There’s probably no worse feeling in life than the feeling of being rejected. Whether it’s from the opposite sex, a friend or family member, or co-workers, the feeling that our presence is not wanted or no longer welcomed can cause us to feel hurt and become defensive. We have all experienced rejection at some point. It can hurt and can take years to heal from. As human beings, we innately want to be loved and accepted. A sense of belonging to a community is one of our fundamental ingredients for survival.
We Can Start a Rejection Cycle
To be honest, there are many experiences of daily life that can drag you down. You may start the day on a good note, but it doesn’t take much to upset you. Even knowing the milk is off and you have none for your morning coffee—little things like that. We look around sometimes and feel like everybody else has it all figured out—except us. I’m a loser, is sometimes expressed, and that is hurtful and not true anyway. In God’s sight no-one is a loser. We like to think we have relevance in life and that we can make a contribution—but the fear of rejection pulls us back. No wonder we feel like losers.
When we have been rejected, it’s not uncommon to react in a way that ends up rejecting others in the same way. People who don’t believe they’re lovable put up walls and shut down the people who are trying to love them. Then those people feel rejected. And then there is the Oh, I’m not good enough issue—so many people feel that way. They may have made a mistake and never forgiven themselves. The guilt hangs around their neck constantly. I have a feeling many people today still have the scars of rejection and find ways to comfort themselves, or cope in life.
It’s ironic, isn’t it? The rejection cycle is self-propelling. Unless something stops it. What breaks the cycle? At the core of all rejection and its consequences is a spiritual issue. I am reminded of what one author has said, “You can experience the mercy of God no matter what you’ve been through.” And that is my point: with God on your side nothing is impossible to overcome—even rejection.
Until you understand and believe that God loves you apart from your life experiences, you’ll continue to go round and round the rejection cycle, believing its lies. You will ask, Why do others reject me? What have I done to deserve this? What can I do to get others to accept me again?
God Will Always Receive Us
The Lord understands. If you are stuck living with the pain of rejection, remember this wonderful verse from the Bible:
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18 – NIV).
We have been created by God to be loved, to be accepted and appreciated. Rejection therefore opposes the very nature that God created in us. Only God can be trusted as the source of our real identity.
God never wanted us to feel rejected or abandoned. He wants us to be loved and accepted. In fact, the Bible states it this way:
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me. (Psalm 27:10 – NIV)
Think about it. Even if our own parents or family members will forsake us, God will always receive us and will never abandon us. Therefore, your identity as a person does not come from others who rejected you. Your identity comes from God who created you and loves you so much. God gives us the key to overcoming negative thoughts in response to rejection: prayer.
Philippians 4:7 (ESV) says when we pray, “… the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Romans 12:2 says we are to be transformed by the renewal of our minds; by discerning the will of God we will know what is good and perfect.
God made sure to tell us how important it is to guard and renew our minds. By submitting our will to the will of God through prayer, we will have a renewal of peace. Goodbye feelings of rejection!