Rejection and Forgiveness - Part I
By Tracie Miles
Galatians 1:10, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (NIV)
Rejection is something we all face in life. Rejection comes in many forms – affairs or divorce, supervisors who can’t be pleased, teenage rebellion, being turned down for a job, shut out from a club or sorority, or the betrayal of a friend. Although this list is not exhaustive, you get the idea. These things have one thing in common - they are painful, and very damaging to our self-esteem.
In the midst of rejection, we are so focused on ourselves that it is difficult to pull away from the hurt and think clearly or rationally. Our thoughts are often, How could that person have done/said that to me? Do they know how much I have done for them? Have they taken a hard look at themselves? We all share these thoughts when we are consumed with despair caused by hurtful words or actions from others.
There are three basic truths in handling rejection:
Truth #1: Understand that you are made in the image of God. We are told in Genesis 1:27 that God created man in His image. Men and women are God’s most unique works of art, His masterpieces! There is no one more valuable and precious than the children of God. Remember who you are in Christ and choose to see yourself through God’s eyes.
Truth #2: Rejection is only destructive when we internalize it, allowing it to creep into our personal belief system. Since we cannot control what other people think, we have no control over whether or not people approve of us. We are only in control of our own attitudes and beliefs. If we allow the opinions of others to affect the opinions we have of ourselves, then we are allowing those who hurt us to control our thoughts. If we keep our thoughts focused on how much God loves us, we won’t dwell on the opinions of others.
Truth #3: We can combat the destructive forces of rejection by understanding our position in Christ. We are God’s most prized possessions! Spend time focusing on who we matter to instead of who we don’t. We are told through out the first book of Peter that we are chosen, royal, holy, accepted, and instruments for God’s work. Our position is one of royalty, and we are each a significant instrument in God’s spiritual orchestra.
During painful times in our life, we can triumph if we remember that God is our strength. God is a forgiving God, and He desires for His children to be forgiving as well. He is sufficient to get us through our problems. He is our Almighty Redeemer. We do not need the world’s approval, and we will never be able to please everyone. We only need the approval of God. God is waiting to wash our souls with His grace and mercy to help us through any situation, but first we must have our spiritual eyes and ears open to hear His loving, comforting voice.
Dear Lord, I pray for Your wisdom on how to deal with situations in which I feel hurt, rejected, and worthless. Fill me with Your love so that I can forgive others. Help me remember that Your approval and acceptance is all I need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
The Confident Woman by Anabel Gillham
Ask God to intervene in your situation, and help you forgive this person and mend your relationship. It may seem hopeless, but nothing is too big for God to handle.
Create two lists. List 1: write down all the wonderful traits, talents and skills that God has gifted you with. List 2: write down all the people in your life who love you. Seeing all these things on paper will help relieve the pain of the person(s) who made you feel unworthy and rejected.
Unforgiveness is poison to our soul – do you need to forgive someone who has hurt you?
Are there people in your life that you would do anything to gain their approval? Would your behavior change if you were only concerned with God’s approval, not that of man?
Do you thank God daily for the privilege of being made in His image, and remember that you are beautifully and wonderfully made?
Psalm 36:5, “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” (NIV)
1 Kings 8:50, “And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their conquerors to show them mercy.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 05 March 2007.