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LEARN: WHAT ARE THE INNER & OUTER SIGNS OF REJECTION?
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Healing A Wounded Heart
Has your heart been broken?
Your spirit crushed?
Are You Controlled By the Fear of Rejection?
Are you controlled by the fear of rejection?
Do you feel like you can never please anyone, or that you have to earn love?
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
Nothing can ravage your heart like rejection. The most penetrating wound is the painful rejection of a loved one. Even death itself does not pierce your heart as deeply as when you know you have been abandoned. You feel devastated when someone dear to your heart deserts you. Rejection chips away at your self-image … chisels down your confidence … and challenges your hope. Meanwhile, the memory of your loved one lingers on and on in the recesses of your mind, repeating—through whispers and shouts—those haunting messages: “You are unwelcome.… You are unworthy.”
Is your heart broken?
Is your spirit crushed?
Nothing is more healing than to know that the Lord loves you unconditionally.… He accepts you eternally.
When your pain seems endless and your heart is tender to the touch, continue to put yourself into His compassionate hands. He will hold you with His heart of love until there is true healing … for, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
If your sense of self-worth is based on the approval of others, you are on a runaway roller coaster with no ability to control when you’re up or when you’re down. Your feeling of value is at the mercy of what others think about you. You’re sense of identity is determined by how others respond to you.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
What Is Rejection?
Have you ever wondered, What was the very first rejection on earth? The first rejection is recorded in the first book of the Bible. God gives Adam and Eve everything they will ever need. He also gives one warning, “Don’t eat from that one tree.” And what do they do? They eat from that one tree!
Their direct defiance means that they reject not just God’s Word, but also God Himself (Genesis 2:15–17; 3:6).
- Rejection is the act of refusing to accept or consider a person or thing that is not wanted or not approved.
- When you experience rejection, you feel unloved, unwanted, unacceptable.
- The Greek verb apodokimazo means “to reject as the result of examination and disapproval.” (apo = away from, dokimazo = to approve)
- Jesus felt the pain of rejection. The Bible refers to Christ as the “Cornerstone”—the vital, the most essential stone of a major structure—yet He was the cornerstone (or capstone) the builders rejected.
“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.”
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- To be rejected is to be cast aside, cast off, cast away—to be thrown away as having no value.
- When you are rejected, you can feel useless, abandoned, worthless.
- The Greek verb atheteo means “to do away with, to set aside, to cast or throw away as useless or unsatisfactory.”
- Jesus challenged the Pharisees and teachers of the law because they were rejecting the laws of God.
“You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!”
- To reject someone means to despise, refuse, shun, turn away from.
- If you reject others, you use your attitudes and actions to reveal the condition of your heart.
- The Hebrew word maas means “to reject, refuse, despise.”
- Because God has given each of us free will, we may choose to reject the Word of God and even God Himself.
“The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have?” (Jeremiah 8:9)
Question: “My father died six years ago and I’m still having trouble dealing with the anger I’ve had toward him. He was partial to my brother and treated my sister, my mother, and me like second-class citizens. I tried to please him with my achievements and we never communicated and he never recognized my accomplishments. How can I stop being so controlled by my anger?”
Anger has four sources: hurt, fear, frustration, and injustice. The anger you describe comes from at least three of the four. The rejection you experienced is very hurtful. Seeking to please him and never achieving recognition is extremely frustrating and being treated in a negative way simply because you are a female is most unjust. The truth is that his treatment of you had nothing to do with you, but everything to do with him. He was the one in the wrong. His inadequacies let you down. Recognize this truth and turn loose of your expectations regarding him. Admit that your father was unable to be loving and accept him simply for being your father. Choose to forgive and release him to God so that your anger does not produce bitterness in your own heart.
“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
What are Three Levels of Acceptance?
When we reject someone, if we look closely, we may find that we are repeating the same rejection that we ourselves have received. The same is true of those who have learned to be accepting of others. Typically, we give what has been given to us. However, your past rejection need not determine your future. You can grow in your ability to become more and more accepting—even when you yourself have been rejected. The Bible says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” (Isaiah 43:18)
The Three Levels of Acceptance
#1 Zero Acceptance
“No matter what I do, I’ll never be accepted.”
- The person who totally rejects you harbors deep hurt and bitterness and extends no grace and mercy. But the Bible says,
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
#2 Performance-based Acceptance
“I feel accepted only when I perform perfectly.”
- The person who only accepts you based on how you act demands, “You must meet my requirements,” and rarely offers grace and mercy. The Bible says, “Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (James 2:13)
#3 Unconditional Acceptance
“No matter what I do, even when I fail, I always feel accepted.”
- The person who accepts you—especially when you fail—lives with a heart of grace and mercy … and reflects the heart of God. The Bible says,
“Show mercy and compassion to one another.”
The Fear of Rejection Test
- Do you avoid certain people out of fear that they will reject you?
- Do you become anxious when you think someone might not accept you?
- Do you feel awkward around others who are different from you?
- Do you feel disturbed when someone is not friendly toward you?
- Do you work hard at trying to determine what people think of you?
- Do you become depressed when others are critical of you?
- Do you consider yourself basically shy and unsociable around others?
- Do you try to see the negative in others?
- Do you find yourself trying to impress others?
- Do you look for clues as to how others are responding to you in order to avoid the pain of rejection?
- Do you say yes when you should say no to others?
- Do you expect others to respond to situations and conversations in the same way you would?
- Do you hear people saying that you are a “codependent person”?
- Do you experience hypersensitivity to the opinions of others but insensitivity to your own emotions?
- Do you struggle with anger and resentment toward others?
- Do you seem to be easily manipulated by others?
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
You Are Accepted Even When Rejected
- Admit the rejection of the past and acknowledge its pain (Lamentations 3:19–23)
- Claim God’s acceptance and unconditional love. (Isaiah 54:10)
- Choose to forgive those who rejected you. (Colossians 3:13)
- Expect future rejection as natural in a fallen world. (1 Peter 4:12–14)
- Plant Scripture in your mind to produce new thought patterns (Romans 12:2)
- Thank God for what you’ve learned through your rejection. (Psalm 119:71)
- Encourage others as an expression of Christ’s love. (Hebrews 3:13)
- Draw on the power of Christ’s life within you. (Philippians 4:13)
- “I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)
Rejection Breeds Rejection
- Rejection brings on feelings of worthlessness.
- Worthless feelings bring on self-hate.
- Self-Hate incites negative behavior to alleviate the pain.
- Negative Behavior... reproduces rejection.
How Can You Break the Rejection Cycle?
- “Just because someone rejects me doesn’t mean that everyone rejects me. Jesus loves me no matter what others choose to do.” (John 15:9)
- “Just because someone withholds love from me doesn’t mean everyone will withhold love from me. God will always listen to me and will never withhold His love from me. ” (Psalm 66:20)
- “Just because someone may think that I am worthless doesn’t mean everyone thinks I’m worthless. God has already established my worth, and because of Him I will always have worth.” (Luke 12:6–7)
- “Just because someone doesn’t value me doesn’t mean that no one values me. God values me enough to send Jesus to die for me so that I can spend eternity with Him!” (John 3:16)
- “Just because someone has rejected me doesn’t mean I should hate myself. God has always loved me, and I can rely on His love.” (1 John 4:16)
- “Just because someone has rejected me doesn’t mean I should condemn myself. God will never condemn me, because I am in Christ’s family.” (Romans 8:1)
- Negative Behavior
- “Just because someone has rejected me doesn’t mean I should act destructively by behaving in a way that sets me up for more rejection. Since I will pay for my bad choices and be rewarded for my good choices, I am going to make good choices.” (Galatians 6:7–8)
- “Just because someone has rejected me doesn’t give me license to do what is wrong. God has given me the power to do what is right. Sin will not be my master!” (Genesis 4:7)
Do You Feel Rejected by God?
If you are thoroughly persuaded that God has rejected you, then you don’t know the God of the Bible and His special plan for you.
- Know God’s character:
- God is love. (1 John 4:8)
- God loves you. (Jeremiah 31:3)
- Know God’s heart:
- God wants to adopt you into His family. (1 John 3:1)
- God wants to be your guide through life. (Proverbs 3:5–6)
- God wants to be your guide through life. (Proverbs 3:5–6)
- Know God’s plan:
- God offers salvation to all.(John 3:17)
- God wants everyone to be saved, including you. (2 Peter 3:9)
- Know God’s purposes:
- God uses rejection to produce hope and Christlikeness (Romans 5:3–5)
- God gives you compassion and comfort, which, in turn, you can give to others. (2 Corinthians 1:3–5)
“For I know the plans I have for you ... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Key Verse to Learn
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Key Passage to Read
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