The Pain of Rejection
By Tracie Miles

“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or God? Or am I still trying to please men?
If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 (NIV)

If there is one thing that can make someone feel like they don’t have a friend in the world, it’s rejection. Whether it be rejection from a spouse, a co-worker’s gossip, a friend’s betrayal, an unappreciative boss, an unfriendly neighbor, or a teenager who suddenly doesn’t want to be seen with you anymore - rejection hurts.

A few years ago I was dealt a harsh blow of rejection from someone I thought I had a positive relationship with. In the midst of this rejection, I became so focused on my hurt feelings that it became nearly impossible to think clearly, or rationally.

For most of us, when we are drowning in the pain of being rejected by someone, 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?”

Do those words sound familiar? They certainly do to me. These are some of the exact thoughts I had when I was thinking vengeful thoughts about my “rejecter.”

My human nature wanted to get back at the one who hurt me. Maybe give them a taste of their own medicine. But God had a different plan in mind.

God desired for me to handle this challenging and painful situation with understanding and compassion. He wanted me to pray for that person, and see them as His child who had made a mistake and didn’t realize how their words and actions affected others. He wanted me to forgive them.

Yes, that was His plan, but I didn’t really buy into it at first. Instead, I chose to harbor anger and pierce the ears of my family and friends with all of my woes, forcing them to be an involuntary guest at my ongoing pity party. I chose to feel sorry for myself, and shed as many tears as possible, as if that would drown out the hurt.

However, despite my procrastination in handling things God’s way, over the next few weeks, God repeatedly intervened and reassured me of His love. I stumbled across sweet Bible verses dealing with overcoming rejection. My weekly Bible study topic was on rejection, my daily email devotions touched on rejection, and my pastor’s sermon was about rejection that Sunday.

Could all of those things just have been incredible coincidences? Definitely not! I knew it was the awesome work of my Lord and Savior, who cared about me enough to let me know that He was with me during this time of turmoil. He gently reassured me of my worth in His eyes, and reminded me that I did not need ‘man’s’ approval, only His approval.

God’s love helped me to wash away the pride from my eyes, and allow Him to wash my soul with His mercy and grace. In His arms, I was reminded that I am His and that He loves and adores me despite my flaws and insecurities. As a result, I was able to take my focus off of my rejecter, and instead focus on my approver – Jesus.

Isn’t it so comforting to know that you never have to try to earn Jesus’ approval, and that you can live with a peace of mind knowing that He accepts you, no matter what.

Although Jesus may not always approve of our actions or choices, He always approves of us as a person whom He created, whom He loves, and whom He thought was important enough to die for.

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 love others, even when I do not feel loved in return. Please help me to remember that the only One who I need to seek approval from is You, and that it is in You alone, that I can truly believe that I am worthy and unconditionally loved. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources
Do You Know Him?

Reinventing Your Rainbow, by Tracie Miles

The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas

Visit Tracie’s Blog for more encouragement.

Application Steps
Ask God for the supernatural ability to forgive your rejecter. Remember who you are in God’s eyes is all that really matters.

Are you allowing the opinion of one person to affect how you feel about yourself?

Power Verses
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)

1 Thessalonians 2:4 On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. (NIV)

© 2008 Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.


Blogger eph2810 said...

Oh, Tracie - you don't know how much your devotion meant to me this morning. I needed that Scripture passage and your reflection. I will treasure this verse today and everyday.

Be blessed today as you have blessed me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an on time devotional. God is truly awesome.
Blessings be upon you.
Thank you

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You Jesus for Your faithfulness each and everyday! Thank You that You always love us and receive us no matter what. Thank You for the sweet way that You helped Tracie thru this time. It's ALWAYS an encouragemnt to hear testimonies of Your goodness!

Blogger Sherry said...

Wow! God never ceases to amaze me! I needed that devotion today. I can't believe that your devotion spoke right to my situation and even to very things I have felt and said. I have cried just knowing that God cares enough to do that. How awesome he is.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the devotion. When I opened this devotion I was crying feeling hurt, worthless, and unapproved. How comforting it is to be reminded that God cares and loves us unconditionally and that he doesn't use our flaws and past mistakes to approve of us. Glory be to God.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a great devotional. It is so easy to get to caught up in our own pain. When I am rejected and lied to I go to Ephesians 6:10, 11, &12 "...Be strong in the Lord and the POWER of HIS might. We must be putting on the armor of God and remembering that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood" but it is a spiritual battle against the cleverest of all enemies, Satan and his demons. Thank you , Lord, for Your love for me and Your power and Your Word that equips us to fight rejection and handle pain.

Blogger nickmal said...

In Matthew 5:22 Jesus teaches about anger, refering to a seething, brooding bitterness against someone that causes emotional hurt, increased mental stress, and spiritual damage.
Hebrews 12:15 warns against bittnerness in our hearts that can overshadow even our deepest Christian relationships. A "bitter root" comes when we allow disappointment to grow into resentment, or when we nurse grudges over past hurts. Bitterness bring with it jealousy, dissension and immorality. When the Holy Spirit fills us, however, he can heal the hurt. The real test of our love for God is how we treat our family and fellow believers.
When I discovered that I had offended my friend, I'll confess it hurt me that I had hurt her. Still, her spirit is closed. I pray with humility for God's grace to fall on me and for the Spirit to fill me with a loving attitude and actions. I pray that this dissension and the enemy be conquered by thy power in Jesus name.

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