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. When we’re feeling rejected, how should we respond?
These are seven stabilizing truths to remember when you’re rejected:
1. Self-pity is a decision you don’t have to make.
When you’ve been rejected by a friend, 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.
2. 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 percent trustworthy.
As you deal with the sting of rejection, soothe your heart with this truth, “My father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in” (Ps. 27:10).
3. “Anything that makes you need God is a blessing.”
Lies Young Women Believe author Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says this often, 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.
4. Accept the dare . . .
Look at this rejection like a test. Your reaction 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?
Every rejection, every heartache, and every disappointment is an opportunity to respond like Christ, who faced heaps of rejection for our sakes.
5. . . . and don’t stop loving.
Depending on the situation, love may include establishing appropriate boundaries, praying for him/her to thrive in Christ, and extending forgiveness and grace 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 loving your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).
6. 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.
7. “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.
Listen to Christ’s words to us found in Matthew 10:7–8, “‘Proclaim as you go, saying “The kingdom of heaven us at hand.”Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.”
Because God has granted you love and mercy in spades, you are free to give it away 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?