Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
5 Steps to Reject Rejection

5 Steps to Reject Rejection

 

Rejection is ugly. It’s also an equal opportunity emotion. It latches on to grade-school children and haunts CEOs. It incapacitates actors and hinders artists and authors. And in today’s cancel culture, no one is immune to its suffocating reach.

Rejection causes us to think of ourselves in ways that contradict what God says about us. Like acid eating through flesh, it shreds our feelings of worth. Rejection blinds us to God’s Word and triggers insecurities that drown out His voice. Ultimately, rejection can cause us to question God’s purpose and plan for our life.

We’ve all experienced it at one time or another. Personal rejection. Rejection of our beliefs. Rejection of our leadership or our ministry. Dr. Charles Stanley, the founder of In Touch Ministries, once admitted the negative emotion he most wrestled with was rejection, stemming from childhood experiences. If Charles Stanley struggled with it, what chance of victory do the rest of us have? Actually . . . the answer is better than you might think.

Consider these five steps to reject the debilitating effects of rejection.

  1. Recognize the resemblance

A natural response to rejection is to whine about how unfair it is. How could God allow His children to be treated so poorly when our goal is to live for His glory?

But Christ was rejected by those He came to save. He was saddened by the response of His people, but He wasn’t surprised (Mt. 23:37). Still, ancient Israel’s rejection of Jesus did not change God’s view of His Son. The apostle Peter noted that Jesus is, “The living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him (1 Peter 2:4).

Servants of Christ resemble their Master, suffering for righteousness as He suffered. “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master” (Mt. 10:24). If Christ experienced rejection, what makes us think we’re exempt?

 

  1. Release your hurt to God

Another natural reaction to being rejected is to isolate ourselves and wallow in self-pity. The pain of rejection is often more than we think we can bear. It gouges a hole in our heart that seems irreparable.

But we have a choice. We can nurse our hurts, coddling them until bitterness digs deep into our emotions and takes root. Or we can turn to Yahweh Rapha, the God Who Heals. No one understands the pain of rejection better than the Lord Himself. His Presence brings healing. The psalmist described it this way:

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

 

  1. Reconfirm whom you desire to please

The pain of being rejected is magnified by a desire for the approval of others. But a servant of Christ cannot serve two masters. Reconfirm whom you choose to serve. Offer God yourself, your ministry, your goals, and your hopes as a living sacrifice for His glory alone.

The apostle Paul wrote put it this way: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” (Rom. 12:1).

 

  1. Refocus your thinking

We are most vulnerable to the pain of rejection if we have not dealt with our own insecurities. Unresolved hurts from past relationships will spill into current relationships. Lies we’ve been told as a child about not being good enough render us susceptible to wounds of rejection as an adult.

Paul provided the answer to wrong thinking: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2). The more you focus on an “audience of One,” the less the rejection of others will matter.

 

  1. Relay comfort

The comfort we receive is not meant to be hoarded. One of my favorite verses is a bit of a tongue twister which reminds us “The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort…comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Cor. 1:3-4).

When we give others what we ourselves have received, our comfort is multiplied and God gets the glory.

 

Rejection doesn’t have to be fatal. We can reject rejection by remembering who we belong to, applying God’s Word, and relying on His Spirit!

How have you been touched by rejection?
How did you respond?

 

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7 Comments

  1. Nancy E. Head

    Ava, I love that passage from 2 Corinthians. That part of scripture has encouraged me very often. I love these suggestions. So many times, how we think about a trial determines how we’ll get through it. Thanks and God bless!

  2. Sue

    I don’t handle rejection well; in fact, I lash out or isolate. Thank you for helping me see there are better and more godly ways to react to rejection. I pray to ponder these things in my heart and mind and make the right choice next time.

  3. carol Baldwin

    #4 really hit home for me. Thanks!

  4. Melinda Viergever Inman

    An excellent reminder of the safe harbor of God’s love, He comprehends our hurts and harms and betrayals suffered for these were actions that He lived through as a human being and as the Son of God when He was rejected and murdered. We can go to Him for comfort in our times of loss, for He suffered for our sake to both redeem us but also to be our Comforter inour times of suffering.

  5. Yvonne Morgan

    Okay, did you write this piece for me? Boy, I needed to hear your words of wisdom today. These feelings can creep up on us so unexpectedly too. Thanks Ava

  6. Jessica Brodie

    I needed this! I love what you said, “But a servant of Christ cannot serve two masters. Reconfirm whom you choose to serve.” This is critical, as rejection from people should not be my true concern.

  7. Karen Friday

    Ava, I’ve also written on rejection before. And I related to each of your points, particularly number 4. Insecurities certainly play a large part in our emotions when we feel rejection.

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