What Should I Do with Rejection?

PJ Beets's picture

In an unfamiliar city, my family and I were searching for a quick meal before heading off to the airport. We spotted a restaurant that looked like it would work so we entered and asked for a table. We were promptly seated….and then our waitress arrived. In a rough and hoarse voice, she barked, “Do you want me to harass you and give you a hard time?” I was shocked and horrified. In an uncharacteristic manner of my introverted self, I quickly replied, “No, we don’t want that!!!” She said OK, and proceeded to take our orders. As other waiters and waitresses continued to badger their customers (and customers badgered them) it was just too much. We asked for seating outside, finished as quickly as we could, and left vowing to never eat at that chain restaurant again.

My soul does not handle rejection well. The suggestion that I was about to be treated as worthless and inferior reopened old wounds from the past. Wounds that God wanted to heal.

Rejection comes in a variety of packages wrapped with words like avoided, brushed off, nonaccepted, dodged, unwanted, exclusion, inferior, inadequate, worthless, displaced, deserted, and forsaken. The packages can be large or small but all carry the content of pain and hurt.

Some rejection is real. People say and do hurtful things that stab deep into our souls. Sometimes without us realizing it. Some rejection is perceived only in our minds. Lysa TerKeurst explains, “We project the lines of rejection we heard from our past on others and hold them accountable for words they never said.”[1] Some rejection comes from wrong expectations of others. Rejection is a sad, lonely, and hopeless place to live. I know; for I have lived there.

One day I reflected on the specific times of rejection that my soul had received. It was a grievous place to go, but I needed to return to it because part of my soul’s healing resided in the past. As I relived the painful words and events, a new and precious reality leaped into my soul. Jesus was saddened by the pain that others had inflicted on me as they rejected me. It broke His heart as it had broken mine. He offered to take all that humiliation, sorrow, hopelessness and bear it for me. Then He offered to redeem those areas of my wounded heart with His love and acceptance, unconditionally.  

So, what do I do with rejection? I look at the lies I have been told about myself by others (and myself) and then look to the truths I have been told about myself by God’s Word. It is a matter of who I let define me…others or God.

Lie

Truth

Scripture

Unwanted

Wanted by God

Isaiah 43:1 “But now says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.’”

Worthless

Worthful by God

Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Insufficient

Sufficient in God

2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.”

Inferior

Justified

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:33 “It is God who justifies.”

No matter what others say or do that gnaws at who I am in Christ, I am truly defined by what God says about me in His Word. I am “bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the LORD” 1 Samuel 25:29. I am always a part of the premier group…the Trinity.

So, as I interact with those that have rejected me or a potential rejection exist, I arm myself with the truths from God’s Word and let Him define me and not others. I silently but forcefully shout to thoughts that carry rejection messages, “No, I don’t want that!!!” (just as I did to the waitress!)

Then I look to God to empower me to return good for evil (Romans 12:21) so I do not reject someone!

For your consideration: Lysa TerKeurst’s book and study guide, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely Nashville, TN: Nelson Books, 2016. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s book, Lies Women Believe: And The Truth That Sets Them Free Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2018.    




[1]
Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely (Nashville, TN: Nelson Books, 2016), 8.  

Comments

Gail Seidel's picture

Thank you, PJ ,for these very clear words of truth that shatter the lies we believe when we feel and are rejected.

PJ Beets's picture

I am grateful for the power of God to bring truth and healing to our hearts!

PJ

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