Rejection is powerful. You trust someone, and then—wha-bam, curve-ball! Sometimes rejection is malicious; other times, you’re simply rejected out of convenience or preference, and your pain is accidental. Sometimes it’s wrong, and sometimes it isn’t—but either way, it hurts. How should we respond?
These are 7 stabilizing truths to remember as you work through the emotions accompanying rejection:
Self-pity is a decision you don’t need to make.
You can choose to linger long over the sucker-punch to your gut, or you can choose to grieve for a time—while looking up to Christ. Your identity isn’t found in man’s opinion of you; your identity is in Jesus. Bitterness must be given no wiggle-room to sprout.
Jesus will never turn you away.
Your friends may turn you away, but Jesus promises never to forsake you. Your boyfriend may turn you away, but Jesus is always present and steadfast. Even the best of us aren’t aren’t wholly reliable, but Jesus is always 100% trustworthy.
“Anything that makes you need God is a blessing.”
Lies Young Women Believe author Nancy Leigh DeMoss always says this, and it’s so true. If you’ve been rejected, admit the pain. Then recognize it as an opportunity to experience a deeper, more dependent relationship with your most faithful Friend. I know it doesn’t feel like a “blessing,” and that’s okay; you don’t need to pretend it does. You can simply rest in knowing that sweet spiritual fruit will come out of this if you will allow Him to work and heal.
Accept the dare . . .
Look at it like a test. How you react to rejection will reveal what kind of character lurks under the surface. Will you turn the other cheek? Will you accept it with grace, or will you fight back? When the other person has acted unwisely or sinned against you, will you extend forgiveness without strings attached?
. . . and don’t stop loving.
Depending on the situation, love may include things like: establishing appropriate boundaries, praying for him/her to thrive in Christ, and extending forgiveness and grace from your heart if you were wronged. In the situations where it isn’t wise to remain close (or, sometimes, in contact at all), it’s still important to continue desiring the other person’s spiritual good. Yep—even when they dropped the ball when it came to seeking your good. There are no strings attached to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Let yourself be humbled.
Rejection stings! But it’s also a chance to forget yourself. Life isn’t about me or you—it’s about Jesus.
“Freely you have received; freely give.”
Have you ever thought about how you can’t out-love God? Your care for others may bypass their care for you, but God’s care will always bypass yours. Always! The Creator of all has set His eternal affection on you and filled you with His Holy Spirit. No matter how deeply you’ve been rejected, you can still have more love at “the ready to dispense” to others.
The source of our love is God Himself, not the affection of other people—which means we don’t have to depend on others to fill our “love tanks”! We’ve received grace and love freely, in infinite measure. What’s to stop us from spilling that same love right back out?