Rejection makes us feel alone; we feel like other people do not like us or do not want to be around us. It is a strong negative emotion of feeling unwanted, feeling like we are not understood, like the odd ones out, like others are better than us, like we are below others. Rejection makes us feel weird, unappreciated, criticized, and judged; it makes us feel as if nothing we do or say is ever good enough; it makes us feel as if we are not good enough or as if we do not matter.
When rejected, we feel like outcasts. Rejection is defined as, “being excluded; cast off.” It is a strong emotion, and when it happens, we start to feel unworthy.
When under rejection, we may feel judged by others, talked about by others, avoided by people, laughed at, mistreated, abused – whether verbally, emotionally, physically, or financially; we may be taken advantage of and lied to. We may feel rejected by a school we had applied to, denied a certain job, secluded by family, friends, and colleagues. During such times, it is easy to fall into deep loneliness, we may question our worth and value, we may fall into a state of despair and hopelessness. We ask, ‘what is so wrong with us?’
In an effort to compensate or come out of that state, we may try to please others with our words or actions, we may start doing what others want us to do; we start mimicking other people’s words and actions. We try to fit in. But what standards are we trying to fit into? Does the popular opinion or the actions of the majority mean that that is the right way to go? What are we trying to achieve when we try to fit in? What is our motive? Is it approval, acceptance, praise, and validation from people we are seeking?
In the Bible we are told Jesus was rejected in His own hometown. He went performing miracles and preaching the Word, yet He was still rejected. He was sinless but still people did not receive Him.
So the Jews grumbled about Him, because He said, ‘I Am the bread that came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down from heaven?” John 6:41-42.
Jesus’ own people could not accept Him. We realize that their rejection was not about Him, it was about them; their hearts were hardened. Their rejection did not change who Jesus Christ is, the Son of God.
People will say many things about us, they will hurt us, they will walk away, they will shut doors. When such things happen, the first thing we should do is re-examine our hearts. We invite God to search our hearts and reveal to us and remove anything in our lives that does not please Him. We re-examine our relationship with others and make sure our words and actions are motivated by love. Where we have made a mistake, as much as possible we right our wrongs by the power of the Holy Spirit. We repent and turn away from our sins. We make sure our hearts are right with God. Only when we are in such a position can we then examine other people’s words and actions without bias or judgment. What is their motive?
We ask for discernment from God. We make amends, we apologize and pray for God’s will. Everything we do, we do with love. However, we do not put ourselves in danger or in unhealthy situations. God helps us know what is meant to be in our lives and what is not. God closes doors for a reason. We do not become slaves to others.
When we make a mistake, we do not allow the enemy to enslave us with guilt, shame, prolonged grief, and condemnation. When we repent, we are set free. We do not ponder on what is past or what we consider missed opportunities. When we pray, at times God says yes, sometimes no, and sometimes He tells us to wait; His timing is always perfect.
Rejection takes root when we put our hope in people. The moment we do that, we idolize people. Rejection and a sense of unworthiness drive us to addictions of all kinds in an attempt to numb the pain or fill up the voids in our hearts. At the root of rejection is an insecurity, a fear, a search for validation, and worth. It starts in childhood and various events trigger it; this can range from feeling rejected by other children or adults, having a personality that is different, our physical appearance, being bullied, being made fun of, being pointed to as the ‘different one’, our family backgrounds, and such like things. As we grow up we continue facing many situations that make us feel rejected, unworthy, unqualified, and not good enough.
Different people mask rejection in different ways; some may compensate with pride, arrogance, anger, perfectionism, rebellion, violence, abusing others or themselves, addictions, seeking relationships, and such like things. Yet, such things never deal with the root of the problem; they only cover up the problem.
When we do not face a problem and heal from the root cause, the problem lingers.
Nothing is hidden in the presence of God. He knows our fears and insecurities. He knows us by name. Our craving for security, acceptance, validation, and love can only be found in God. That is the truth. Other people will never validate our worth; our worth is only rooted in Christ. When we seek such things from other people, we will find ourselves in a rejection cycle. But when our relationship with God is firm, we realize other people’s actions and words should not destabilize us. We take what is good and lay the rest at the cross. We let Jesus take over.
We realize that other people’s words and actions are about them; such come from the state of their hearts. We take wise counsel, we grow in wisdom, and we allow God to mature us. Dwelling on people’s rejection is unhealthy for our bodies, mind, and spirit. It drives us away from God, our Source. It steals our joy.
We will never be accepted by everyone, and not everyone will like us; yet, that does not change who we really are.
We fight rejection by developing a personal relationship with God. We get to know who we are in God. God is our security, He is our strength, He is Love. We do not earn salvation by our works, it is a free gift. We are accepted as we are when we repent; we turn away from our sins and follow Jesus. Christ makes all things new. He is the only way to life.
He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. John 3:36.
When we rely on man, we put ourselves in a vulnerable position and expose ourselves to abuse, mistreatment, and rejection. Most people do not know how to love, they always want something in return; most people are conditional. People and addictions will never fill up voids in us; only God can.
Our life belongs to God. Yes, we develop relationships and live in harmony with one another. However, we should never be so engrossed with people’s opinions and acceptance that we start compromising. We do not compromise; whether out of fear, or loneliness, or rejection. We do not become slaves to people or to pleasures of the world in an effort to ‘fit in’. We stand on the truth of God’s Word.
Christ is the only way to joy, peace, freedom, prosperity, and security. He is the only way to eternal life. We keep His commandments, and we walk in God’s love and total acceptance. We are saved by grace through faith, not by our works. We do not have to prove anything to God.
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn, and weep. Turn your laughter to mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:8-10.
When we repent, turn away from sin, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we get the assurance of eternal life. We do good and love others as an overflowing of God’s love that is within us.
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