Have you experienced rejection in your life? Are you still trying to get past it? Sometimes the stinging words of rejection from a loved one or friend replay in our minds more than we’d like. I just read a devotional from a YouVersion study called ‘The Spiritual Warfare Battle Plan.” At one point it said, “A spirit of rejection attacks your identity.” This could be your identity as a family member, friend, or employee.
Over the years I’ve been rejected by family members—on my father’s side—and that made me feel estranged from that family.
I have had friends reject me over the years, which made me question my value as a friend.
Then as a television sportscaster, I was not renewed on a couple of contracts at the height of my career, making me believe I wasn’t as good at my career choice as I thought I was.
But once we understand that we must treat rejection as a “spiritual” battle, then we can move past the negative internal messaging, rooted in rejection. Things like: I’m not good enough. I’m not loved. I’m different.
Here are three steps I’ve used in my own life to overcome rejection.
1. Remind yourself of who you are in Christ. No matter what anyone else says, you are loved. In Jeremiah 31:3, God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” The Bible says God loved us so much that He adopted us as His children (1 John 3:1). That alone should be encouraging if you’ve been turned away by a relative. Often when someone rejects you, it’s because of some insecurity they are experiencing, not because of anything you have done.
2. Pray against the Spirit of Rejection. You have the power in Christ to defeat it. The enemy of your soul came to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus said in John 10:10 that His purpose is to give you “a rich and satisfying life.” When we are bogged down by feeling sorry for ourselves, that is not rich and satisfying. We press down the joy that is ours for the taking; we become stuck and can’t move forward to act on the jobs God has prepared for us.
3. Choose to Not Reject Others. This may the most difficult ask, because our tendency may be to run when we are hurt by people. That was how I reacted for many years. However, Jesus’ ways are sometimes counterintuitive. It was often the rejected that he reached out to in his three-year ministry—the lepers, the adulterers, and the demon-possessed. These were people that others labeled “unclean” and chose to avoid. But Jesus said to “love your enemies.” He commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and those neighbors don’t always fit our mold.
How does this look?
I was rejected by a half-sister, but still pray for her kids, even though I have no relationship with these nieces and nephews.
I realized that my career rejection was the best thing that ever happened to me. It turned my life back to the Lord and I have no bitter feelings toward the networks that cut me loose.
And I understand now, that some friends aren’t ready to go where God is taking us. Interests change. Focus becomes different. We may miss some of those pals, but what usually happens is that the Lord brings new sisters and brothers to walk alongside us in the next phase of our journey.
If you have felt rejected, you are not alone. We have all been rejected at one time or another but we have to look at it a different way. Behavioral Scientist Steve Maraboli once said, “Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was being redirected to something better.”
That is a great truth, but this is also truth—God doesn’t just want something better for you. He wants the best for you.
We’d love for you to join us for POP Chat tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. We will be discussing “How to Have Unity.” Lisa Burkhardt Worley is teaching on the subject and our guest worship leader is Teresa Harmening. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z?utm_medium=email&_hsmi=89304151&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8r8FWa_kFZcONxlsE2ffQ7UwrWi80D9kV7cShhbPCtoJU6G_84OxxMXOdyqUVM3SpAmUUVJ1uYGLCH76typbi-yn-wIA&utm_content=89304151&utm_source=hs_email