Rejection? No, Thanks!
October 4, 2019
Hi, thanks for joining me today. I’m Debbie. And today we’re gonna talk about REJECTION. Yes, rejection. Do you have any rejection in your life today? Well we don’t like rejection. I’ve never liked it, and I don’t think you have any reason for liking it, either, if you’re normal. The dictionary description of rejection is the spurning of affection or the dismissal of an offer.
Have you offered someone something and they said, “Hm,…no thanks.” That stings, doesn’t it? Like when you’re signing up for the ball team. You know, in elementary school or sometimes in middle school, they’ll have the two team captains, and they choose them. Each captain gets to pick somebody. And how do you feel when everybody’s been picked but you? (laughs) You feel rejected! And it’s painful.
But then there’s another kind of rejection. The kind when you didn’t get picked for the ring. And someone else got picked for the ring. He chose someone else. That’s more than just a sting, isn’t it?
Now, the problem with rejection that we have is not really the incident. If you didn’t get picked for the ball team it shouldn’t change your life. But the problem with rejection is how we respond to it.
HOW WE RESPOND TO REJECTION
It’s what goes on in our head. It’s what goes on in our heart. How do we feel when other people say, “No thank you?” Because it causes questions to arise. We look at that ball team captain and we say, “If he doesn’t want me on his team, maybe I’m not good enough for anybody’s team.” If he doesn’t want to put his ring on my finger, he doesn’t love me, maybe that means I’m not lovable. Maybe nobody will love me. It’s how we respond…
If my parents didn’t care for me the way parents are supposed to care, maybe I’m not worthy. And all of a sudden our identity is thwarted. It’s twisted. There’s like a flip in our soul. Because we know that we’re asking the quesiton, “Am I good enough?”
AM I GOOD ENOUGH?
Asking the question, “Am I not good enough?” really invites a threat. And the threat is that I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough this time, I won’t be good enough next time, and for everybody I’m not lovable, what I have to offer is not enough… and this really affects our identity because it comes across as damaged self-esteem.
Now people who are afraid of rejection — and this is really where the threat hits home — is when people become AFRAID OF REJECTION. And they begin to live their lives in order to avoid it. And this is what people do when they have a fear of rejection:
1. They are TIMID. They’re timid, they don’t want to speak up. They’re scared to say what they think.
2. They put up with things that they would never normally put up with. Things they don’t want to put up with. They’ll even do things, they’ll be active in lifestyles and activities that they don’t even like. Because they’re attached to somebody else that’s doing it. They’re trying to become accepted. And so they do things in a backward sort of way because they’re afraid that if they speak up and say, “I don’t like this, I’m not doing this,” all of a sudden they’ll be rejected. How many young women found themselves in the back seat of a car when they weren’t ready for intimacy? Because they didn’t want to be rejected. How many times have you said “yes” to something that was dangerous to you? How many times have people took a needle in their arm or snorted something or smoked something because they didn’t want to say “no” because they were afraid they would be rejected. “If you don’t do what we do then you can’t hang out with us.” That’s what rejection looks like. It’s not just about sex and drugs and alcohol. It’s about many things in our life that we really wouldn’t do on our own.
3. They keep their personal feelings from others…and — this is the big one — from themselves. They keep their personal feelings buried. Other people won’t know about it, and they won’t — that’s called DENIAL. When you get in denial about your personal feelings because you’re afraid to deal with the rejection that’s in your life, you are signing up for a ticket to misery.
I want to read a scripture to you today:
Romans 8:31 — What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Now, I wanna break that down. This is a powerful scripture. And it really speaks and preaches into what we’re talking about today. This is the Apostle Paul talking…”What, then, shall we say…in response…to these things?” In response? In other words, how are we gonna respond to it? There are a lot of things speaking into your life, and they’re not all of God. How are you gonna respond to those things? The Apostle Paul asked that question, he said, “What shall we say in response to these things? Now, “these things” that he was talking about might be many things. You can go back and read the whole chapter of Romans 8, and you can see that when he talked about “these things,” he mention in earlier verses “present sufferings” and “weaknesses.” So I think that rejection could be considered a “present suffering.” And the Apostle Paul would ask you, How are you going to respond to that? And then he goes on to say, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
See the truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter what someone else says about you. Who have them the power to re-identify you, anyway? If someone says, You can’t hang out with us…if you can’t do what we’re doing, you can’t hang out with us. Well maybe you just don’t need to be hanging out with them. Because if you have to mold yourself into some form of dysfunction to fit in with a group, a romance, a friendship, a job, a position, or society in general, there’s a problem with that.
See, God identified you when he created you. Now, get this. If you don’t get anything else I’ve said today, I want you to hear this. God created you to be WHO YOU ARE. He likes your identity. No one has the right to blast that. No one has the power to re-identify you. You don’t even have the power to re-identify yourself, apart from what God has said about you. Because if it isn’t what God said about you, then there is no truth in it. The truth will remain. And the truth will stand. And what God said about you is who you are, no one can un-do that.
So you don’t have to fear rejection. If they didn’t pick you on the ballteam, it’s okay. There’s always another chance. You know how many famous writers tell the story about getting their first book published. I know one author said it took around 12 tries before he could get anybody to publish his first book. And then the sky was the limit, everything he writes today gets published and is a best-seller. You know how many people got their heart broke because somebody rejected them in a romance? And years later they look back and say, “Thank God!” “Thank God they said no, because I wouldn’t want to be married to them today. I mean, look how it turned out.” God has the power to speak over your life, and no one else does, and when you listen to the voice of negativity coming from rejection, or allowing the enemy to come in and twist that, so that you listen to the wrong voices.
Now there’s five things I want to give you today about WHAT TO DO WITH REJECTION. I’m gonna give you these real quick.
1. KNOW THAT EVERYBODY DEALS WITH IT. Everybody. I don’t care how perfect someone’s life looks, they deal with rejection too. They’ve had somebody say “no thank you.” And it’s an ongoing thing, not just a one-time event. Life offers rejection on a continual basis. (laughs) So it’s not just you, you’re not different. You’re not segregated from the main part of humanity. Everybody deals with rejection. You’re in the club.
2. ACKNOWLEDGE IT. Acknowledge the rejection. Look at it, say “this happened.” Don’t get in denial about it. Don’t sugar-coat it, and don’t soft-soap it. Just call it like it is. Allow yourself to feel the pain.
3. REFUSE TO LET REJECTION DEFINE YOU. The only way to do this is to remember that God is on your side. That, like the Apostle Paul said, if God be for you, who can be against you? Write that scripture down and post it up so that you can see it, quote it, memorize it, frequently. Rejection is not part of God’s plan. God will never reject you. He loves you just as you are. So don’t let rejection re-identify you against what God has said about you, the way He created you to be. You are who He says you are.
4. LOVE YOURSELF. Now. I realize that you may not know how to do that. And I’m speaking from experience, because for a great part of my life I did not know how to love myself. I didn’t have a clue. Because I had a rough childhood. I had a mentally ill mother, we were desperately poor, and I didn’t see a whole lot of opportunities at certain times in my life. So sometimes you feel like you have to take what you can get. That’s complying with rejection, that’s what that is. But one day I had an eye-opening moment, I want to share that with you real quick. I was married, and I was in an abusive marriage — not physically, but emotionally, very abusive. And I was dealing with it the best way I knew how, I was a survivor. I had tree darling little girls, precious children, and those girls were always the light of my life. And one day I looked at them, they were junior age — 9, 10, 11, somewhere in there — I looked at my girls, and I thought, What would I do if I saw one of them living my life? And something inside me screamed, NO! No, they can’t live my life! They can’t have this kind of dispondencey! They can’t live this kind of pain. I don’t want them living like I’m living. And something rose up in me and say, Why, Debbie, can’t you love yourself like you love your daughters? See, that’s the way God loves us. And that’s the way you should love yourself. If you’re a mother you’ll understand what I’m saying here. If you’re not a mother, just use your imagination. Love yourself like you would love your own child. Because that’s the way God loves you. If you don’t know how to love yourself, and you feel like you’ve come to a dead end on that, just google it. Start doing what it says to do. Find somebody that knows. Get a mentor. Learn how to love yourself. Even if you don’t know how, begin to take baby steps in that direction.
5. LEARN FROM REJECTION. Now, how do you learn from rejection? There’s a way! There is a way to learn from rejection. And I’m gonna tell ya, one of the best things you can do is look back at how you have handled rejection in the past, and ask yourself, How could I have responded to that differently?
“How could I have responded to that differently?”
And then begin to create scenarios in your life, if this happened, how would I handle it? Begin to pray that God will give you wisdom on handling rejection. I’ve always said, if it cost me pain, if it cost me money, if it cost me time, if it cost me… relationships, if it cost me, I’m gonna get something out of it. I’m gonna learn from it. So when I look back at situations where I feel like I didn’t handle it right, I try to think about how I could do it differently next time. And you can do that too!
Listen, God loves you JUST LIKE YOU ARE. He doesn’t want you to be anybody other than who you are. The only person that can be the real you is the person I’m talking to right now. It’s you. So, love yourself and let God love you. Just learn how to receive the love of God, and if you don’t know how, begin to read His Word, just a little bit every day will do it. You don’t have to read chapters every day, take a few verses. And begin to pray about it and ask God to help you learn how to love yourself, and also to receive His love in your life. He’ll show you how.
Thanks for joining me today! I’ll see you next time.