Summary: Almost all of us have experienced rejection, but many of us have not understood its nature or its effects. Your rejection may have been something relatively minor -or it may have been so devastating that it affected your whole life & all of your relations
EPHESIANS 1: 4-6 [Life Issues Series]
[Isaiah 54: 4-6]
“He has made us accepted in the Beloved” Ephesians 1:6b [NKJV]
Almost all of us have experienced rejection at one time or another, but many of us have not understood its nature or its effects. The rejection you faced may have been something relatively minor - or it may have been so devastating that it affected your whole life and all of your relationships.
Here are some common examples of rejection: You were not chosen to play on a school sports team; your first boyfriend failed to show up for an important date and never gave you a reason; you were not accepted at the college of your choice; you were laid off from your job for no good reason.
Far worse than these examples is the pain that comes because you never felt love from your father, you sensed your mother didn’t want you, you experienced an angry divorce; you were the unfavored child, were abused, had some handicap, or some public humiliation.
Experiences such as these leave permanent wounds, whether you are aware of them or not. But I have good news for you! God can heal you from the wounds that come from rejection, help you to accept yourself, and enable you to show His love to others. Before you can receive His help, however, you must recognize the nature of your problem.
Rejection can be defined as the sense of being unwanted. You desire people to love you, yet you believe that they do not. You want to be part of a group, but you feel excluded. Somehow you are always on the outside looking in.
I. RECOGNIZE YOUR REJECTION
The first step in overcoming rejection is to recognize the problem. Once you recognize it, you can deal with it. You do not have to do this all alone; God will help you recognize it.
A bomb dropped in WWII exploded and SHRAPNEL flew. A soldier went to the medical station with a tiny black puncture mark in his shoulder. The medical staff was busy attending every one. One orderly cleaned the wound and asked the doctor if he should put a dressing on it.
The doctor said, “No,” and asked for a probe. He put the little silver stick in the wound and moved it around. Nothing happened for a few moments. Suddenly, the probe touched the little piece of shrapnel inside, and the patient let out a yelp. The doctor knew he had found the problem.
The doctor requested forceps. He put the forceps in and removed the piece of shrapnel. Only then did he want to apply the dressing.
You may be putting a little dressing of religion over a wound that cannot heal because there is something inside that is causing it to fester. However, if you will open your heart to the Holy Spirit, He will reveal the source of the problem. If the Holy Spirit’s probe touches a piece of shrapnel, help if you must, but don’t resist! Ask Him to use His forceps to remove the problem. Then God can apply something that will really heal it.
It may be uncomfortable letting the Holy Spirit dig in your life till He reveals to you the cause of your infection or hurt, but you will be much healthier if you let Him do so.
Rejection may occur because of dislike or even hatred, though such is not usually the case. Rejection also takes place when acceptance is contingent upon satisfactory performance. If you don’t measure up to someone’s or some group’s imaginary standards, you are rejected.
Among Christians rejection occurs when love is withdrawn, knowingly or unknowingly, and the person is denied the right or opportunity to be accepted as they are. Christian rejection could be defined as the absence of meaningful love, and at it’s worst, a wanton disregard of another person and his or her needs.
“It is obvious that such a universal syndrome as rejection would permeate all levels of society and its institutions. Since no one but God is capable of giving perfect love at all times and in every circumstance, some lack of love or imperfect love (rejection) will come into all of our lives. Rejection occurring early in childhood and the severity of that rejection are usually determining factors in the amount of damage sustained by the rejected personality.
Those who have been rejected are prone to pass along some form of rejection to those closest to them. Until those who have been rejected find the life-transforming love of Christ as the only complete antidote to rejection-based symptoms, they turn to pursuits which they hope, consciously or unconsciously, will make them acceptable to themselves and others.” [Solomon, Charles. 1982. Tyndale House, Wheaton, IL. P.12.]