Some of you who know me well may be aware that one of my greatest fears is rejection. Throughout my life I’ve had quite a bit of experience with rejection in friendships and relationships, but yet, it still remains on the top on my list of fears. I’ve gone through relationships waiting for that person to leave. I’ve allowed doubts to flood my mind of negative remarks others are thinking of me. I’ve worried I’d lose that one last friend and would be left forsaken and alone, yet again.
Rejection wounds are some of the deepest scars etched on my heart because I know that someone decided to leave my side and end a relationship, and they chose it. I was cut out of their life and they were content moving on. In many cases, the rejections I’ve encountered often occur without any explanation or apology. I’ve believed the lie that my rejected heart wasn’t worth an apology or explanation. That’s what crushed my heart the most.
Social media is one of the primary culprits for this. You see friends together that didn’t invite you allowing you to feel easily replaceable. You look up a friend’s profile to find that they “unfriended” you with no explanation. Friends who would contact you all the time suddenly don’t respond to your messages anymore, without any reasoning or apology. You weren’t chosen for that position, causing you to feel unqualified. You feel forgotten by the world. Alone and forsaken.
I can imagine that you’ve had your fair share of rejections too. Your heart has been cut deeply by the sting of disapproval of others. The emotions that leave you feeling incapable. Unqualified. Unattractive. Unpopular. Despised. Forsaken and alone. Your fear escalates, allowing you to wonder if every rejection holds clues to your flawed personality that you’re failing to see? You weren’t attractive enough. You weren’t capable enough. You weren’t acceptable. You weren’t smart enough. You didn’t meet their expectations. While others’ active decisions of rejection don’t always imply disapproval, being on the opposing end of rejection can certainly allow feelings of inadequacy to feel ever so defining.
One of the Bible’s primary examples of rejection is the life of Jesus. I can’t think of a better example than that of Jesus’ life. The finest man that walked the earth faced more rejection than we could ever fathom. His own Father, a perfect God, even had to turn away when He carried the weight of the sins of the world. Countless men and friends, that proclaimed to be His followers, rejected Him. In fact, Peter blatantly rejected Jesus three times, all within a few short hours. While the beating and crown of thorns were physically inflicting immense pain on His body, I can imagine the deep wounds of rejection, from the world He came to save, left an even deeper penetrating pain on His heart.
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
We face rejections in our lifetimes for many reasons. Some of which we never fully understand. Although, there are times when we face rejection because of what we stand for. When we are living a righteous life, others who desire to wallow in sin will despise any signs of goodness. They reject what is good. They don’t want any association with someone who desires to live an upright life.
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
The scars of rejection have been etched into my heart from many incidents where people have abandoned, rejected and mistreated me because of my faith. When rejection occurs because I’m living for God it certainly isn’t easy, but if I face rejection for that purpose, it brings joy to my soul, knowing it is for a great purpose. When we have been rejected by someone because we are living a life obedient to God, we can find great consolation that we will have a great reward awaiting us in heaven.
Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.
Rejection can cut deep. It can overtake us, allowing us to feel paralyzed by the pain. We don’t have to succumb to the effects of other’s disapproval. We don’t have to be ruled and reined by what others think. We can rather focus on what God says is true of us. We can remember that God has chosen and selected us to fulfill His purpose. If the God of the universe sent His only Son to come, suffer and minister to the world so you might have the opportunity to go to heaven, God must have an amazing purpose to fulfill through your life.
Don’t allow the world and the disapproval of others to thwart God’s potential for your life. Don’t question your worth with the assumptions, doubts and lies spoken by the enemy. Don’t let the abandonment of others leave you paralyzed by the pain, restricting you from fulfilling God’s purpose. Don’t allow rejection of others to steal away the overflowing love God has for you.
We may not understand all the rejections that we’ve faced. We may not find closure. We may not ever get that apology, but we do know that we serve a just God. He will make all things right and nothing will be forgotten or overlooked. God sees your effort to love those who mistreated you. God understands the deep hurt that is etched on your shattered heart. This world is not our home. We don’t need to feel accepted here. We have an eternal home in heaven waiting for us. As children of God, one day we will discover God’s purpose and we will forever feel cherished, valued and fully accepted.