It can take a long time to heal from rejection. Whether you have faced rejection recently or years ago, it’s probably not hard to recall a time when you felt dismissed and cast aside. And those experiences can leave deep scars on our souls.
Author and (in)courage contributor Lysa Terkeurst shares one particular rejection that left her reeling. Although the rebuff happened years ago, she still is learning from the experience, and offers several powerful steps for overcoming the sting of rejection.
1. Don’t respond from your emotions. Give yourself time to “rest and de-stress,” Lysa advises, before you jump to respond to someone’s actions toward you.
2. Believe the best before assuming the worst. “Even if they didn’t have my best interest in mind,” Lysa notes, “they probably didn’t have the worst intentions either.”
3. Clarify! “When in doubt,” says Lysa, “I should ask them to help me understand what they truly meant.”
While Lysa’s tips are meant to help you navigation the sting of rejection in your relationships, here are a few other tips on how to handle rejection at the soul-level:
4. Get in the Word and repeat truth to yourself. “When the enemy tries to send rejection your way, don’t take it!” iBelieve writer Emily Massey proclaims. “Send it right back at him and reject that rejection in Jesus’ name! And always remember to guard your heart so that Satan has no room to sow his seeds of lies any longer!”
5. In prayer, release your hurts to the Lord and set free the one who hurt you. iBelieve blogger Marie Osborne shares how this process helped her overcome the rejection of a friend. “I feel Him calling me to release this weight of hurt and rejection, to wear His coat of acceptance and eternal affection. And to set my rejector free. To put on His love instead of believing the lies of that rejection. Not just for myself, not just so I can be whole. But so I can pour His love out on others, even on rejectors.”
6. Embrace Rejection. Finally, if we can learn to embrace rejection, the enemy can no longer use it against us. Lindsey Carlson writes this about embracing rejection:
“When I feel rejected, I can consider how Christ responded to rejection.
“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?” -Isaiah 53:7-8
When Christ was condemned and unjustly accused, he didn’t fight to be considered worthy. He bowed to the will of God and was broken, bruised, and cast aside. He trusted his father and had no urgency to defend his innocence.
God allows me to taste the bitterness of rejection as an act of grace. Through affliction I join Christ in the fellowship of suffering. I identify with his pain to thank Him for His sacrifice. Familiarity with rejection is a gift that binds me to Jesus.”
When we face rejection, we can take comfort knowing our Savior understands how we feel. And we can be strengthened by his response to rejection: bowed to the will of His Father, he had no urgency to defend himself. He died for us, bearing the pain of rejection so that we can live a life of hope and peace in him.
How has your faith helped you overcome rejection? Share your story in the comments section!
Kelly Givens is the editor of iBelieve.com.