Rejection and I are good friends…too good of friends.
In fact, rejection is one of those friends who can’t seem to take the hint that I’m in a hurry and have things to do and places to go and people to see, but instead begins another conversation as I’m walking out the door.
Everyone and their mother has experienced rejection at some point in their life, and if you’re part of the 0.000001 percent who haven’t experienced this, then please teach me your ways!
Whether it’s getting passed up for a new job, not fitting in with a social group, or breaking up with a significant other, there is no easy way around rejection. And quite frankly, it stinks.
For me, it is so easy to let rejection determine who I am and what my worth is.
So, you worked really hard at something, but it failed? Rejection says you’re not good enough. Oh, you gained some weight during quarantine making sourdough bread, whipped coffee, and feta-tomato pasta? Rejection says you’re no longer desirable. That person ghosted you out of nowhere and you thought things were going well? Rejection says you’re going to be alone forever, and no one will want you.
Rejection says… rejection says… rejection says…
If you ask me, rejection needs to stop talking!
Now, I know the last thing most of us want to hear when we’re going through a season of rejection is “You’re going to be okay” or “It will pass” or “In the grand scheme of life, this is really rather insignificant.”
We don’t want our situation minimized or trivialized. We don’t want a 12-step plan to move on (or maybe we do, but not in the initial moments of our pain). We want to feel seen and heard. We want validation in our feelings. We want someone who really understands what we’re going through in that instant.
Well, guess what—we have Jesus.
Jesus, the most perfect being on Earth, experienced rejection. He was rejected by the people closest to Him:
- His own family (John 7:5)
- His friends (Judas and Peter)
- His community (Matthew 13:58)
- He even felt forsaken by His Father (Matthew 27:46)
Jesus, in all His humanness, experienced one of the most painful things you and I face almost every day. He still faces rejection to this day. And yet, in all His love, He took our sins and redeemed us from eternal rejection from God. Jesus chose us, accepted us (flaws and all), and wanted us so much so that He was willing to die for us.
The word “redeem” means many different things: to buy back, to free from distress, to change for the better, to repair, to restore, to fulfill… What if rejection is just another moment of redemption in our lives?
What if God is using rejection to shape us into the people He created us to be?
Instead of listening to the lies rejection says about who we are and what our worth is, maybe we need to start listening to the truth of who Jesus says we are and what we are worth to Him.
The next time we experience rejection, in whatever situation we’re facing, rather than letting rejection run its mouth, let’s listen closely for what God is speaking into our lives in that circumstance.
- Maybe the rejection is helping us build strength or perseverance.
- Maybe the rejection is actually a step towards a new opportunity.
- Maybe the rejection is clarifying our purpose or calling.
- Maybe the rejection is teaching us to love ourselves the way God loves us.
- Or maybe, just maybe, the rejection is giving us another chance to turn to our God and put our trust in Him.
Whatever the case may be, trust that God is using your most painful moments to restore, repair, fulfill, free, redeem… and that He chooses you every. single. day.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.