Rejection—An All-Too-Familiar Experience
To reject someone means to refuse to grant that person recognition or acceptance, to discard that individual as being worthless. Have you ever felt rejected?
- Did you feel rejected because your father was distant and cold, too busy to give you time and attention?
- Did you feel rejected because your mother favored your older sister who was prettier or smarter?
- Did you feel rejected because you weren't gifted in athletics and when the class divided up into teams, you were the last one chosen?
- Did you feel rejected because your school clothes were not as nice as the other kids' and they made fun of you?
- Were you fat? Were you plain looking? Did you have acne? Did you have to wear thick glasses?
- Were you rejected during your high school years because you weren't popular; did you miss your prom because no one invited you?
Rejection Is Not A Measure Of True Worth
But does rejection really affect our basic worth? If individuals don't appreciate me as a total person because they don't like my looks or my performance, does that mean I really am what they think I am? Am I intrinsically less valuable? Should I permit them to label me for the rest of my life? What if they are wrong?
Shift Your Focus To God's Acceptance Of You
Take a moment, open your Bible, and read Ephesians 1:3-14. Look how special we are to God! We are:
- Lavished with grace
- Included in Christ
- Sealed with the Spirit
- Guaranteed an inheritance
When we trust Christ and establish a relationship with Him, He accepts us with arms wide open. His acceptance is what gives us value. It is from Him that we should derive our self-image.
Don't give the person or persons who reject you permission to put a price tag on you. God has put His price tag on you. You are worth so much to Him that He came Himself to die for you so you could be His son or daughter, born into His family by faith in Jesus Christ.
Our Savior Experienced Total Rejection
Jesus was perfect. There was no sin, no personality or character flaw in Him that caused Him to be rejected. Yet He suffered undeserved rejection all His life. Jesus was rejected by His peers, by His half-brothers, by His nation, by the Gentiles, by the world He had created. In the hour of His agony He was betrayed by one friend, denied by another, and abandoned by all of His disciples. He experienced loneliness, suffering, grief, and rejection. "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted" (Isaiah 53:4).
Why did Jesus endure such agony? He bore our sins on the cross and took our punishment so that we might be forgiven. But in so doing He endured a rejection we will never know. He even felt rejected by God, His Father. Remember His cry from the cross, "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46).
When Jesus became man, He bore the full penalty for our sin, which is separation from God: "By his wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
In the New Testament, we learn more about Jesus' rejection: "He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:11-12).
When you trust Christ as your Savior, you are born into God's family. God accepts you as His beloved child. He loves you with a love that will never waver, falter, or end. And as you grow in your new life, your great High Priest Jesus intercedes for you with God. Here's the kind of priest He is:
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Hebrews 4:15-16).
Jesus Is A Compassionate, Sympathetic Intercessor
Jesus knows how rejection makes us feel. He has been there. He will comfort us, give us value, and use our pain to help others. But to appropriate these gifts, we have to make the kinds of decisions Leah did. We have to give up our expectations and focus on God, praising and thanking Him for who He is and for the blessings He showers on us. If we do that, rejection will not be a hindrance to our spiritual growth. It will become a catalyst.