Everybody is created with three inner needs – the need for love, significance, and for security. We experience rejection from our earliest years when we are deprived of having someone who loves us unconditionally, someone who regards us as highly significant, or someone who welcomes us as part of “a family.
Your parents may have divorced, your feelings may have been snubbed, you may have been given up for adoption, or your loved one may have left. Since people do fail people, it is essential not to let other people define who you are. Realise that rejection can quickly skew your view! Even though you may not see the path you should take, the Lord promises to guide all your steps and meet all your needs. “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)
You might believe: “Because of being rejected, I feel so unloved … so insignificant … so unwanted. My life isn’t worth anything!” This is not true and it is a skewed belief. But it should rather be replaced by a belief like this: I do not like being rejected, but I know my worth isn’t based on whether or not others reject me but on the fact that the Lord accepts me. Jesus not only loved me enough to die for my sins, but He also lives inside me and will never leave me nor forsake me. “I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” (Psalm 13:5)
But if you feel rejected by God and others, you might be overcome by self-condemnation and bitterness. What to do with that? Bitterness is the result of unresolved, prolonged anger. Self-condemnation is anger turned inward. This means that before you can deal with bitterness or self-condemnation, you need to look into your past and uncover the root of your feelings. Start by determining the cause of your anger. Remember, anger has four sources – hurt, injustice, fear, and frustration. Did something in your past make you feel one of these painful emotions? Then realise that feelings almost always follow thinking; in other words, once you have discovered the source of your anger, check out the truthfulness of your thinking – only the truth can set you free. Once you’ve established the truth, renew your mind by repeating that truth. First and foremost, repeat Romans 8:1 and pray, “Thank you, God, that because of Christ you will never condemn or reject me.” The next time you feel rejected, remember that “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) can enable you to overcome your fear and know your true acceptance in God’s eyes. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)