What Is Rejection?

Rejection is the act of refusing to accept or consider a person or thing that is not wanted or not approved. When you experience rejection, you feel unloved, unwanted, and unacceptable. The Greek verb “apodokimazo” means “to reject as the result of examination and disapproval.” Jesus felt the pain of rejection. The Bible refers to Christ as the “Cornerstone” – the vital, the most essential stone of a major structure – yet He was the cornerstone (or capstone) the builders rejected. “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.” (Matthew 21:42)


To be rejected is to be cast aside, cast off, cast away – to be thrown away as having no value. When you are rejected, you can feel useless, abandoned, and worthless. The Greek verb “atheteo” means, “to do away with, to set aside, to cast or throw away as useless or unsatisfactory.” Jesus challenged the Pharisees and teachers of the law because they were rejecting the laws of God. “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!” (Mark 7:9)

To reject someone means to despise, refuse, shun, and turn away from. If you reject others, you use your attitudes and actions to reveal the condition of your heart. The Hebrew word “maas” means, “to reject, refuse, despise.” Because God has given each of us free will, we may choose to reject the Word of God and even God Himself. “The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have?” (Jeremiah 8:9)

Have you ever wondered, what was the very first rejection on earth? The first rejection is recorded in the first book of the Bible. God gives Adam and Eve everything they will ever need. He also gives one warning, “Don’t eat from that one tree.” And what do they do? They eat from that one tree! Their direct defiance means that they reject not just God’s Word, but also God Himself (Genesis 2:15–17; 3:6).