September 12, 2008
The Pain of Rejection
by Tracie Miles
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or God? Or am I still trying to please men?
If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
If there is one thing that can make someone feel like they don’t have a friend in the world, it’s rejection. Whether it be rejection from a spouse, a co-worker’s gossip, a friend’s betrayal, an unappreciative boss, an unfriendly neighbor, or a teenager who suddenly doesn’t want to be seen with you anymore - rejection hurts.
A few years ago I was dealt a harsh blow of rejection from someone I thought I had a positive relationship with. In the midst of this rejection, I became so focused on my hurt feelings that it became nearly impossible to think clearly, or rationally.
For most of us, when we are drowning in the pain of being rejected by someone, our thoughts are often, “How could that person have done/said that to me? Do they know how much I have done for them? Have they taken a hard look at themselves?”
Do those words sound familiar? They certainly do to me. These are some of the exact thoughts I had when I was thinking vengeful thoughts about my “rejecter.”
My human nature wanted to get back at the one who hurt me. Maybe give them a taste of their own medicine. But God had a different plan in mind.
God desired for me to handle this challenging and painful situation with understanding and compassion. He wanted me to pray for that person, and see them as His child who had made a mistake and didn’t realize how their words and actions affected others. He wanted me to forgive them.
Yes, that was His plan, but I didn’t really buy into it at first. Instead, I chose to harbor anger and pierce the ears of my family and friends with all of my woes, forcing them to be an involuntary guest at my ongoing pity party. I chose to feel sorry for myself, and shed as many tears as possible, as if that would drown out the hurt.
However, despite my procrastination in handling things God’s way, over the next few weeks, God repeatedly intervened and reassured me of His love. I stumbled across sweet Bible verses dealing with overcoming rejection. My weekly Bible study topic was on rejection, my daily email devotions touched on rejection, and my pastor’s sermon was about rejection that Sunday.
Could all of those things just have been incredible coincidences? Definitely not! I knew it was the awesome work of my Lord and Savior, who cared about me enough to let me know that He was with me during this time of turmoil. He gently reassured me of my worth in His eyes, and reminded me that I did not need ‘man’s’ approval, only His approval.
God’s love helped me to wash away the pride from my eyes, and allow Him to wash my soul with His mercy and grace. In His arms, I was reminded that I am His and that He loves and adores me despite my flaws and insecurities. As a result, I was able to take my focus off of my rejecter, and instead focus on my approver – Jesus.
Isn’t it so comforting to know that you never have to try to earn Jesus’ approval, and that you can live with a peace of mind knowing that He accepts you, no matter what.
Although Jesus may not always approve of our actions or choices, He always approves of us as a person whom He created, whom He loves, and whom He thought was important enough to die for.
Dear Lord, I pray for Your wisdom on how to deal with situations in which I feel hurt, rejected and worthless. Fill me with Your love so that I can love others, even when I do not feel loved in return. Please help me to remember that the only One who I need to seek approval from is You, and that it is in You alone, that I can truly believe that I am worthy and unconditionally loved. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas
Visit Tracie’s Blog for more encouragement.
Ask God for the supernatural ability to forgive your rejecter. Remember who you are in God’s eyes is all that really matters.
Are you allowing the opinion of one person to affect how you feel about yourself?
1 Kings 8:50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their conquerors to show them mercy. (NIV)
1 Thessalonians 2:4 On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. (NIV)
© 2008 Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105