The fact is we all have faced rejection. Whenever we step out of our house each morning there is a good chance we will encounter some form of rejection. Rejection hurts. It attacks at our self-esteem. It digs away at our view of ourselves, seeking to bury us in a pit of self-pity, loneliness, and anger. Rejection creates some of the most debilitating emotions known to man.
If you are experiencing rejection or have experienced rejection you are in good company. All the great people who ever accomplished anything significant encountered rejection after rejection.
How can one find relief from rejection?
Reject the Lie
Satan deceives us into believing that we must be approved by and pleasing to certain other people in order for us to feel good about ourselves. If we fail to win approval from others, then we must not be worth much. Satan’s lie can be summarized in one sentence: I am what others think of me. In other words, my personhood equals my performance and other people’s opinion of me. Satan’s con ties us up in the strings of rejection.
When we swallow the words, “I am what others think of me,” we are caught like a fish on a piercing fishhook. And if we are ever able to get loose we remind ourselves that we do not want to experience that painful feeling of rejection again.
Accept the Acceptance
The way to defeat rejection is to overlook it, that is, to look over it. To look beyond the lies to the truth. To look beyond what others say about you to what Christ has done for you. To look past your emotions to the Word of God. Satan lies, people lie, and your emotions lie. Neither of these three are an accurate gauge of your value and worth.
The truth of God and his Word is that we are not judged on the basis of our performance. Satan’s word is approval and if we are looking for approval we will always come up short. God’s word is acceptance. God’s truth is that he accepts us unconditionally regardless of our performance. The fact remains that there is nothing we can do to make God love us any less. And by the same token, there is nothing we can do to make God love us anymore. We are completely acceptable to and accepted by God regardless of our performance—past, present, or future.
Focus on the Truth
I have a file folder filled with rejection letters. Authors live with constant rejection. It is a part of the business. These letters remind me of painful attempts to accomplish a large task and the ensuing rejection. These recurring rejection letters are enough to get a person down. And sometimes they do. How do I deal with it? Well, at first not very well.
One day I was talking with a pastor whose church had gone through a split which resulted in severe depression for him. “How did you handle the depression?” I asked. Thinking he would share with me some psychologist or new support group or an insightful book. Instead, he said simply, “I focused on the truth. Whenever a depressing thought entered my mind I continually reminded myself of God’s Word and the truth revealed in his Word.”
“That’s it!” I thought to myself. When I’m faced with rejection I must remind myself of the truth–God’s truth. Now what I say to my emotions, other people, and Satan is: My personhood is not determined by my performance. People may reject me but God does not reject me. I have been made acceptable and am accepted by him. I stand on the truth not on lies.
What about you? Will you begin again? Reject the lie. Accept the acceptance. And, believe the truth.
My book, Defining Moments: How God Shapes Our Character Through Crisis, takes a fresh look at the hard times that God uses to shape our character. This book offers hope that God can be found in crisis and shows how He turns our struggles into defining moments—opportunities to dramatically transform His people. Click here to claim your copy.