Recovering From Rejection
"Am I now trying to win the approval of man, or God? Or am I still trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10 (NIV 1984)
If there is one thing that can make someone feel like they don't have a friend in the world, it's rejection. Whether it be a spouse's insult, a co-worker's gossip, a friend's betrayal, a boss's criticism, or a teenager who suddenly doesn't want to be seen with you anymore—rejection hurts.
Several years ago I was dealt a harsh blow of rejection from someone fairly close to me. In the midst of my recovery from the pain and shock, I became so focused on my hurt feelings that it was almost impossible for me to think clearly or rationally. I was consumed by thoughts about the rejection.
How could that person have done and said that to me? Do they know how much I have done for them? Have they taken a hard look at themselves?
My human nature wanted to get back at the one who hurt me. Maybe give them a taste of their own medicine. But God had a different plan.
He wanted me to handle this challenging and painful situation with understanding and compassion. He wanted me to pray for my "rejecter" and see them as His child who had made a mistake. As someone who didn't realize how their words and actions affected others. He wanted me to forgive them.
I didn't follow His lead at first. Instead, I chose to harbor anger. I filled the ears of my family and friends with all of my woes, forcing them to be an involuntary guest at my pity party. I chose to feel sorry for myself and shed as many tears as possible, as if that would drown out the hurt.
Despite my procrastination in handling things God's way, over the next few weeks He repeatedly intervened and reassured me of His love. I stumbled across Bible verses dealing with overcoming rejection. My weekly Bible study topic was on rejection, my daily email devotions touched on the same theme, and my pastor's sermon was about rejection that Sunday.
I knew God was trying to show me He cared about me and was with me during this time of turmoil. He gently reassured me of my worth in His eyes and reminded me that my value wasn't based on man's approval, but solely on His.
God's reassurance and words of encouragement helped wash away my pride and began to replace it with His mercy and grace. I was reminded that I am His and He loves me despite my flaws and insecurities.
As a result, I was able to take my focus off of my rejecter, and instead focus on my approver: Jesus.
Although Jesus may not always approve of our actions or choices, He always approves of us as a person whom He created, whom He loves, and whom He thought was important enough to die for.
Isn't it comforting to know we never have to try to earn Jesus' approval, and that we can live with a peace of mind knowing He accepts us no matter what?
Dear Lord, I pray for Your wisdom and comfort to deal with situations in which I feel hurt, rejected and worthless. Fill me with Your love so I can love others, even when I do not feel loved in return. Please help me to remember the only One I need to seek approval from is You, and that in You alone I can truly believe I am worthy and unconditionally loved. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Are you allowing the opinion of one person to define how you feel about yourself?
Is rejection causing you to feel stressed and anxious?
Ask God for the supernatural ability to forgive your rejecter and to help you remember that who you are in HIS eyes is all that really matters.
1 Kings 8:50, "And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy." (NIV 1984)
1 Thessalonians 2:4, "On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men, but God, who tests our hearts." (NIV 1984)
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