“We think you have a bright future ahead of you, just not with us.”
“I think you’re a nice guy but you’re not that cute; I mean you’re not ugly either.”
“I forgot to tell you we were chilling this weekend…”
Rejection’s cold grasp leaves us feeling dejected, lonely, and lacking any worth we previously thought we had. Personally, over the last few years, rejection has been on loop for me like, “Hello from the other side, I must have called a thousand times…”
A year ago I began the unemployment trek, one that is still ongoing. I’ve applied to over a hundred plus jobs, only to be invited on just 5 interviews. Recently, I thought I’d found the one. Agonizing waiting after each interview ended with me being told that I was great; I had a bright future ahead of me but they were moving forward with another candidate. I can give you a million of these stories, expanding from my biological father rejecting me growing up to friends and family rejecting me for varying reasons.
I’m sure you can replace each of my rejections with one of your own and the damage it has caused has left deep scars. What can we proactively do in order to cope and heal from what rejection takes out of us? With that in mind, I’ve come up with 4 Ways To Proactively Deal With Rejection.
Understand, Rejection Doesn’t Measure Your True Worth
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14 (ESV)
We oft-times forget just how much we are worth to God. When we get rejected, we start thinking that we aren’t worth the price God paid for us. We begin to think the worst thoughts imaginable.
However, we need to understand that we are worth so much to our heavenly father. God loved us so much, while we were still sinners, that Christ died for us (2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV). God knew us when we were still in the womb, making us wonderfully made. Bask in this understanding, that God has the best intentions and the most unconditional love for you.
Biblical Comparison: The one story that comes to mind is the story of Leah, the wife of Jacob, in Genesis. Instead of marrying her off, Leah’s father Laban basically tricked Jacob into taking her as a wife. Jacob wanted Rachel more and the bible makes that evident upon their marriage stating, “Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah.” (Genesis 29:30) Can you imagine the pain of living with such rejection on a daily basis? Though Jacob chose Rachel, however, God chose Leah and never let her deal with her situation alone. He comforted her and she reciprocated this understanding with the names she gave her sons.
· Reuben – He has seen my misery
· Simeon – Because the Lord heard that I am not loved
· Levi – Attached
· Judah – Praise
Understand, God Has Created You With A Special Purpose in Mind
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
This is something that has taken me forever to understand. Our culture today is one that is of complete randomness. On one side, you have a generation of entitlement; on the other side, you have a generation that doesn’t feel compelled to anything.
God has a specific plan for each of us within his kingdom. If we full heartedly trust God and diligently seek his word, praying for him to direct us, to fill us with the Holy Spirit, he will guide our footsteps. As the verse above says, he has plans for us, to give us a future and hope. Not every job is made for you nor is every person you meet going to be your spouse or friend. What he has waiting is perfectly made for each of us. We just have to be patient and consistently seek his wisdom.
Biblical Comparison: I thought on the story of Jesus preaching in his hometown when I wrote this section. They were having no part of his sermon and basically rejected him as a preacher. Think about it, had Jesus just said he was quitting; he would’ve never reached his special purpose. I know, there was never a thought in his mind about quitting but I’m asking you to put yourself in similar shoes. You have a special purpose here on earth. Don’t quit after that first rejection.
Forgive, Then Let God Heal You
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 34:18 (ESV)
For many, this is a hard one. You can still play back, word for word, everything that employer said as to why you didn’t get the job; you hear every hurtful word your ex spouted at you in anger; or maybe you continue to remember being rejected by your friends.
A lot of us walk around with past emotional, physical or mental baggage. It’s tough, but you have to let go and fully forgive those past discretions. The memories may linger but by allowing God to heal you, the pain will no longer hold you hostage. Step out of past burdens and into the warm embrace of our God.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 (ESV)
Biblical Comparison: I think of David as the perfect example of forgiving someone and letting God heal him. As you can remember, King Saul turned on David after he clearly saw David would take his throne. He tried every thing he could to kill David and David knew; yet even when he could’ve killed Saul, he didn’t. He spared his life, letting God be the intercessor. David ended up being a man after God’s own heart! He ruled Israel as one of the greatest Kings ever. Forgive and let God heal you; then, accept the blessing God has waiting!
Use Rejection For Other’s Benefits
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (KJV)
As I’ve matured, this is something I’ve learned to lean on more and more. Using your rejections can be a blessing to someone else and it can very well be God’s purpose for you to share with others how you’ve been healed. That’s truly the beauty of our faith; knowing you can turn any wrong or bad into something positive for others. By sharing, you let the Holy Spirit breathe life throughout the body of Christ, bringing our faith to life and encourage others in their personal struggles.
Biblical Comparison: Before his transformation, Paul was one of the greatest persecutors of the early Christian church. After the renewing of his mind, Paul was an open book. He went throughout the known world sharing the good faith, preaching of the rejection Christ and the early church encountered. Those who heard understood the great sacrifice and took pride in knowing they were being rejected for the same reason.