Rejection – the universal human experience. It hurts deeply, whatever the source.
The neighbor kids won’t let me play with them and they call me names. The mini-snobs in middle school snicker loudly behind my back. The high school jocks mock my clumsiness in gym class. My F grade in general math paints me a looser. I hide behind a feigned indifference because my internal self-rejecter whispers that if I ask her to go out with me, she will laugh in my face. I get fifteen rejections to job applications before I get the job I really didn’t want. I write a thousand articles for the newspaper and they are all rejected. The music publisher doesn’t even acknowledge that they received the song I sent them. The people in the grocery store look disapprovingly at me as my eight-year old son has a meltdown. I get divorce papers thrown in my face.
The list goes on in endless variety. We have all been there in one form or another. The deep hurt is hard to get over.
The first suffering of Jesus recorded in the gospels was rejection. “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” John 1:11 ESV
We never wish for rejection. But, oddly, the Apostle Paul seems to be asking for it in Philippians 3:10. “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
And the Apostle seems to have had a Doctorate in receiving and overcoming rejection. II Corinthians 11:24-27 ESV “Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.”
Rejection is a universal consequence of living in a fallen world. But you can choose not to be imprisoned for life by the emotional disease of your reactions to it. For healing, you can daily apply massive doses of God’s love to your heart and mind. It will heal your heart and renew your mind, so you can think like the accepted.
Jesus’s love is unfailing and unchanging. He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” If you have given your heart to Jesus, Ephesians 1:6 says that God’s grace has made you accepted in Christ. That is the perfect and ultimate acceptance. You are God’s accepted one in Jesus. Review every day and all day that you are God’s accepted one. That is heart healing and mind renewing.
Psalm 42:5-6 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God - soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He's my God. When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you.