5 Keys to Overcoming Rejection

Updated: Nov 10

Do you remember the first time you experienced rejection? Was it in kindergarten class during recess when one of the other kids said, “we don't want to play with you anymore?” Maybe it was when you went to a neighbor’s house to sell Christmas cards for the school fundraiser, and they shut the door in your face? Or how about the first job you applied for when the recruiter said, “sorry, you’re not quite what we’re looking for.”


It’s somewhat easy to overcome these types of rejection but what about the rejection from the first boy I noticed and really wanted to go to the prom with asked my best friend instead. Think about the girl who smiled at you making you blush then you overheard her telling her girlfriends how much she really liked the school quarterback, Bobby Walker.


The more heartbreaking rejection is realizing the longtime friend you laughed with, shared all your most intimate secrets with, and slowly over time fell in love with, not only doesn’t love you the same way but really only sees you as a little sister. But the most devastating rejection is from the marriage you invested in for the last 20 years that ends with, “I’m sorry, I just don't want to be with you anymore.”


Those types of rejection leave us wounded, feeling uncertain, second-guessing everything we knew or thought we knew, questioning our self-worth, and if left to fester, can ruin our lives.


The earliest experience of rejection in the Bible is found in Genesis 4:3-8 with the story of Cain and Abel. Cain was a farmer and Abel was a herdsman. When the time came to make an offering to God, Cain brought the first fruits of produce and Abel brought the firstborn of the animals. God accepted Abel and his offering, but He did not accept Cain and his offering and when God rejected Cain’s offering, Cain became angry and began to sulk. That anger and unresolved negative emotions resulted in Cain killing his brother.



So, what do we do in the face of rejection when we are now questioning our purpose and destiny? How do we move forward when we've been told “no” by the most important person in our lives which now makes us question if we are good enough, who we are without them, and what we did wrong to cause the rejection? What do we do when we feel like not even God wants, accepts, or loves us?


I’ve been there and found that to pull myself up from that dark pit of rejection, I intentionally had to acknowledge my despair, deal with my heartache and realign my thinking.


Consider these five suggestions to combat and overcome rejection.


1. Resolve the issue in your heart quickly. Before doing something you may regret like Cain did be quick to forgive, extend grace, and act in love. Offenses from others can be intentional or unintentional. Regardless of their intent, we are responsible for our subsequent reactions toward the offender. Over time, I’ve learned it’s best to realign my heart with God’s will by remembering that no matter how many times I’ve rejected His instructions, direction and guidance, He still finds a way to demonstrate His love for me.


2. Remember your worth and value. Rejection will attack your confidence causing you to question your worth and value to others and your Father in heaven. Value describes the intrinsic significance and importance of something while worth describes the amount something would sell for. Proverbs 31:10 asks, “Who can find an excellent woman? Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls.” Just remember that even if your earthly father and mother forsake you, according to Psalm 27:10 (ESV) the Lord will take you in. That’s just how valuable we are to Him!


3. Rest in the Father’s love and acceptance. Romans 8:35, 38-39 reminds us that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Not trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, or sword because we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. These verses go on to say that we should be convinced that neither death nor life, angels nor demons, the present nor the future, any powers, height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


When friends, bosses, or loved ones reject us, God’s acceptance makes it impossible for anything in creation, including ourselves to separate us from His unfailing love!



4. In the face of rejection, encourage yourself. I Samuel 30 tells the story of how David had to encourage himself in the Lord after the Amalekites raided the city of Ziglag and captured his wives and children and those of his men. David and his warriors wept until they had no more strength and in their anguish, the men threatened to stone David. Things turned around quickly after David not only encouraged himself but convinced 400 men who pursued the Amalekites, rescued their families, and recovered all that had been taken.


This is a reminder that what may seem like an initial rejection and setback can quickly turn around when you turn your face and heart toward God. Romans 8:31 and 33 (NIV) says, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?” We are chosen, we are joint heirs, and we are more than conquerors. Encourage yourself with those truths!


5. Jesus experienced rejection and so will we. His family rejected him (John7:5). His community rejected him (Matthew 13:57). The disciples rejected him (John 13:21; 18:17 and Luke 22:56, 58). And for a brief period of time, Jesus cried out because the Father rejected him (Matthew 27:46).



Jesus was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not (Isaiah 53:3). But in the end, Acts 4:11-12 tells us that “the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” and it is only in Jesus that we find salvation.


Jesus was rejected but kept His eye on the prize. No matter what men said or did, He knew His assignment and for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). That too must be our attitude in the face of rejection. Whether I am rejected by family, my community, on my job, in the church, or in a relationship, I will press on and persevere to accomplish the purpose and destiny set before me and I believe these five keys can help you combat and overcome any form of rejection that comes your way.




 

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