One of the greatest issues we face is the pain of not being valued, understood and cherished by the people around us and by the world at large—in a word, rejection. Rejection has been called “the greatest undiagnosed and therefore untreated malady within the body of Christ today.”
We cannot get away from rejection; it is all around us.
It can begin at the moment of conception and follow us from childhood, when we first learn how to relate, on into our adult lives until the day we die.
We can get rejected by strangers, friends and family; we can even reject ourselves.
We may learn to live with it and even be able to ignore it, but we are never immune to it. Whether it is done deliberately or totally unintentionally, the result is the same. Depending on the level or depth of the rejection and our reaction to it, our view of the world will be altered; the way we feel about ourselves and then decide to relate to others will determine to a great extent how our lives will go for us.
When we are rejected we can be tempted to sin through our reaction/response to the pain. We do not have to give in to the felt need to reciprocate; we can rise above it. Jesus did.
Jesus was rejected in every way, but He never once gave into the temptation to get back at or cast aside those who dealt with Him that way.
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Even before Jesus was born, He was rejected by Joseph.
When Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant, he must have felt perplexed, deeply rejected and betrayed and as a result he wanted to send her away, God had to intervene through a dream to cause a change of mind in Joseph.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.
19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.
Even Joseph’s family rejected Jesus while He was still in the womb. The birth of a child was always a sign of blessing from the Lord in Israel, but when Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem, none of Joseph’s family offered their room to Mary. The occasion of His birth should have been a time or joyful anticipation for the family; instead, it was an occasion of reproach.
And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
We do not know much at all about His early life, but when Jesus began to minister in the power of Holy Spirit, he was not accepted by those who knew Him. He was rejected even though He moved in power through His ministry.
When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?
3 “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him.
4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.”
His own family could not accept who He was. They rejected His claim and would not believe that He was who He said He was.
“For even his own family did not believe in him.”
There even came a time when they wanted to remove Him from public life because they thought He was out of his mind.
“When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind.’”
When He came to the end of His life on earth even His closest and dearest companions ran, abandoning Him. Abandonment is a deep and very painful form of rejection; yet, when He rose from the dead, He came to them in love and acceptance.
“But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.”
And they all left Him and fled.
Ultimately the whole nation of Israel rejected Him.
He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
Pilate *said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all *said, “Crucify Him!”
23 And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Crucify Him!”
In all He did and everywhere He went He experienced the very rejection that He came to heal–separation and alienation from one another and from God.
He was never sick, He never sinned, but he was surely rejected.
“I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means!
I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom He foreknew…”
Jesus came to heal the pain of the rejection we experience and the separation that our sinful reactions brought into our world. That healing is available to us today!
Walking Out of Rejection
We must understand that rejection has a deep impact in our lives. It fills us with pain and writes disqualification and insecurity on our hearts.
Jesus came to heal that pain and erase the insecurity and disqualification from our lives.
As we begin to forgive those who have rejected us we must ask the Lord to remove the pain, insecurity and the fear that we received as a result of the damage.
One of man’s greatest temptations is not always the obvious temptation of lust of the flesh, but the temptation to embrace self-pity or anger when we are rejected, using it to justify our sinful reactions of striking back at those who hurt us or by allowing the pain to seethe inside us, stirring up bitterness and resentment. We have all been rejected at one time or another, but we must choose never allow it to gain permanent access into our lives. It is to be seen as an offense to our identity and an offense to God. Therefore our response to the pain of rejection must be one that releases the pain to the Lord and life into us.
Father, I confess that I have allowed the pain of rejection to color my responses to others, to myself and even to You.
I repent for rejecting others when they rejected me, by allowing my anger and pain to justify my ungodly behavior.
I ask You to forgive me where I have turned my back on those whom I considered less than me or different from what I thought was the right way to be.
I ask You to forgive me for my prejudice that caused me to reject those who needed to be accepted and valued.
I ask You to forgive me for the times that I saw no value in myself and therefore rejected myself and You for creating me.
Lord, set me free from this sin and attitude that isolates and wounds others in my daily life.
And as You forgive me Lord I now also forgive myself. Amen