Rejection in any form hurts. Whether it happened five minutes ago or five years, time doesn't heal the pain, God does . I'm going to show you why it's necessary to confront the pain of rejection and how it will benefit you .
First, I think it's crucial to understand WHY we need to overcome it. When we bury, stuff, or avoid the pain of rejection, it does the opposite of what we want. The avoidance actually stirs more anger and bitterness up, resulting in carrying the weight of that wound into your future, other relationships, and could potentially sever relationships we desire. When we decide to confront that rejection, with Christ, we rid ourselves of the negative affects it could cause on our lives.
Here are the five key steps I've learned to utilize in recognizing and overcoming rejection in relationships:
1. Identifying Rejection
Rejection is defined as, "to refuse to accept, consider, submit to, take for some purpose, or use", per the Merriam Webster dictionary. In other definitions, Merriam Webster describes rejection as, "to spew out", "throw back, repulse", or, "to cast off". All of the adjectives the dictionary uses to describe the word rejection cause a negative, or painful response.
When we are rejected by others, it results in emotional damage. The result leads to feeling depressed, lonely, worthless, unworthy of being loved, that you're not good enough, or fear. The sad truth about this world is that we've all expereinced rejection of some form because people are imperfect, and cause harm, sometimes unintentionally. If you have ever experienced these feelings before, it's a sign that you've felt the pangs of rejection.
I've experienced it on varying degrees throughout my life- from being refused a promotion at work to being broken up with- each and every degree of rejection can cause one or multiple of the emotional symptoms described above. It may seem silly to describe the symptoms of rejection, but identifying it when it occurs allows us to move forward in healing it before it's allowed to sit and fester into a much larger wound. When rejection isn't dealt with and time lapses the result is a piling of more emotional damage, further isolating us from the very thing we need to heal and overcome it.
2. Fear of Rejection results in further damage, not protection.
The aftermath of undealt with rejection can have an affect on the present and the future of the person who experiences it. Fear of rejection leads to codependent, clingy, obsessive, jealous, or angry behavior in relationships. We tend to guard ourselves from other people to try and avoid experiencing the pain of it again. This severely compromises the quality of an individual's life.
Fear is an innate human response that has purpose. Utilized in "fight or flight" it can save lives, but used in emotional wounds it causes further avoidance from loved ones, isolation, lack of deep, intimate relationships, depression, anxiety, and can begin to affect a person's physical state. When we avoid emotional pain it can manifest itself in our bodies. Lower back pain, chronic headaches, digestion issues, insomnia, fatigue, and referred pain are all examples of common physical complaints from those who have anxiety and depression but aren't able to identify why or when it began.
It's pivotal to understand that fearing rejection may be our innate response to try and protect ourselves from being harmed again, but it's not going to produce the outcome that we desperately need, which is healing and wholeness. We need healing so we can move forward with our lives without carrying the emotional baggage rejection causes.
3. Replace the lies with truth.
It's crucial to understand that rejection is NOT a reflection of who you are. The only way to confront rejection is through replacing the lies it instills in your mind with TRUTH- and truth is found in the bible. Understanding that rejection happens to everyone is pivotal. Matter of fact, it even happened to Jesus.
When Christ hung on the cross, doing the greatest work of all of His ministry, His death came at highest point of rejection He'd ever experience.
"About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" Matthew 27:46 NIV.
He was calling out to His father, "My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?". At the most pivotal moment of His life, He felt rejected by His father. We need to understand that Jesus identifies and understands our emotional damage and that He's already come and done what was necessary to heal it.
Remembering bible verses to combat the lies that tend to seep into our minds after rejection is pivotal in combating them. Here are a few of mine:
When you feel unwanted: ""If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." John 15:18, NIV
When you feel abandoned: "Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close" Psalm 27:10, NLT
When you feel alone: "When his people pray for help, he listens and rescues them from their troubles. The Lord is their rescue all who are discouraged and have given up hope. The Lord's people may suffer a lot, but he will always bring them safely through. Not one of their bones will ever be broken." Psalm 34:17-20, CEV
When you desire retribution: "Because judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement" James 2:13, NIV
When you feel unworthy: "You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God's temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor." 1 Peter 2:4, NLT
When you feel weak: "But he replied, 'My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.' So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am." 2 Cor.12:9, CEV
When you fear punishment: "If you belong to Christ Jesus, you won't be punished." Romans 8:1 CEV
When you feel ashamed: "You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the Earth to be his own special treasure." Deuteronomy 14:2
When you feel unloved: "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him." 1 John 3:1, NIV
When you think you're not enough: "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" 1 Peter 2:9, NIV
4. Heal the wound of rejection
You will never be rejected from God, no matter how many times you experience it in life. If you're struggling with the aftermath of rejection, pray this prayer and release yourself from the bondage of its damage. Jesus has already paid the price that was necessary to set you free from the bondage of walking through life alone and carrying the weight of sin done to you. He's just waiting for you to come and ask. He will never force himself on you, our God is a gentleman. Pray this prayer when you desire to heal from rejection and walk into the freedom He has for you.
I give up the desire to understand why bad things happen to me. Take my fears of rejection and replace them with your love and comfort. I give up my desire to prove my worth to others. I give up my resistance to trust you even when I can't understand. I am sorry for being self-consumed in an attempt to guard myself from ever being hurt again. I give you my anger, unforgiveness, and pride that tell me to guard myself when I know it's you who will protect me. I ask that you heal and repair my broken heart and replace the lies that have infested my heart with the love and comfort of your holy spirit. Burn the weight of my rejection with the flames of your holy spirit and consume them, O Lord.
5. Walk in preperation and forgiveness.
Be ready for the rejection in life. The bible instructs us to put on the full armor of God to prepare us for spiritual warfare. Let me be clear, rejection is the enemy's playground. If you aren't intentional and aware, he will come in and consume your wound. Prepare yourself by walking closely with Jesus, aligning your heart with Him, and remembering the truth in His word when the enemy tries to whisper lies.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." Ephesians 6: 10-18, NIV
If you need help, have questions, or just want someone to talk to I'm available to help you find it. Contact me through my contact page and we'll chat! I have so many resources and truly love helping others overcome rejection.