The teenage years can be replete with life’s most painful rejections. Because of severe insecurity, young people crave acceptance from others … and often overreact to any rejection.
If your sense of self-worth is based on the approval of others, you are on a run-away roller coaster with no ability to control when you are up or down. Your feeling of value is at the mercy of what others think about you. Your sense of identity is determined by how others respond to you.
By age seventeen, Joseph felt the sting of rejection from his older brothers. But, in truth, Joseph played a part in causing his brothers’ jealousy. Although God had given Joseph a special ability to interpret dreams, Joseph unwisely disclosed a certain dream to his older brothers, which implied that one day they would all bow down to him. Speaking these words was not smart on Joseph’s part! “Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, ‘Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.’ ” (Genesis 37:5–7)
How insulting! How impertinent! How arrogant! Resenting the implication that Joseph would “lord” over them, his brothers continued to be filled with an animosity that eventually reached a boiling point. These brothers, who felt such intense rejection, in turn took revenge and made sure that Joseph would pay dearly. Joseph’s brothers did not realize that although some say, “Revenge is sweet,” it can also leave a bitter aftertaste. That is why the Bible says, “See to it that … no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Hebrews 12:15)
To get off this uncontrollable roller coaster and conquer your fear of rejection, allow the Lord to control your life. He created you and established your worth when He made you in His image. As you put your trust in Him, He will turn your fear into faith because …“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)