You Are Accepted | Handling Rejection
I want ask people sitting in this auditorium: Kindly raise your hands who have ever asked something to someone. I see that all of you have asked others for something. Keeping that hands lifted if you have received everything you have asked others. No hands are up. That shows that we have all faced rejection at one time or another in life.
Do you remember the last time you felt rejected or wounded in your emotions? Was it a person who walked away from your life? Or was it a teacher who said you are not good enough? Was it a boss who terminated you or overlooked you for a promotion? Are you being overlooked when you are looking for your life partner? Or maybe it is someone in your life who told you that you are not good enough, no matter what you did to try to impress them?
We all know rejection hurts. It makes us think that we are not good enough. Rejection is something that is very, very painful. One mental health study says that rejection is both a cause and consequence of depression.
Rejection is not something that we should be afraid of. Rejection is not something that we must get discouraged or depressed about work a lot of time in our lives to prove to the world that we are somebody, worth loving and paying attention to. Rather rejection is our friend in the purposes of God, not our enemy. Have you ever considered the fact that rejection in itself can help you to grow spiritually?
In the Bible, Joseph was rejected by his brothers.Since Joseph was the father’s favourite son, his jealous brothers put him in an empty cistern, they finally sold him to Ishmaelite merchants for 20 shekels of silver.
Genesis 39:2 The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.
Moses was rejected over and over again in the wilderness by his own people. David was continually running from Saul because Saul rejected him out of his jealously. Look at apostle Paul, everywhere he turned; Jews, Pharisees, Sadducees hated him, rejected him and did the best to get rid of him.
Rejection can happen to everyone. Jesus faced rejection from his family, the society and even his disciples.
John 7:5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him,
Mat 13:57 And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”
John 1:11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
Jesus’ disciple, Judas betrayed him.
Matthew 26:15 and asked “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him 30 pieces of silver. You also know that Peter denied Jesus thrice.
Isaiah 53:4 He was rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces. He was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Philippians 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.
Sometimes we come out better on the other side of rejection than we would have been if we had not gotten it.
If you’ve ever been rejected you are on the list with these people.
Two Ways We Face Rejection: Others & Self
Every day we have chances to be rejected by the people around us.
Do you know that Ishmael was rejected by his father for no fault of his? Genesis 21:14-18 14Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba. 15When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, shebegan to sob.
17God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
Parents you can hurt your child and put the seed of rejection in them very early in life. Talk words of acceptance to your children.
Many people go through rejection from friends. A lot of bullying and teasing from their friends and colleagues that can put the seed of rejection in them. Paul was rejected by his companions.
2 Timothy 4:9-10 9Do your best to come to me quickly, 10for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
Matthew 26:20-21 20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
Hosea was rejected by his wife and God uses that example to show how the priests of Israel have rejected God.
Marriage, husband and wife relationship is a place where people tend to get rejected over and over and over again. Some people use rejection to control others, especially in husband-wife rejection. Sadly, instead of loving and building one another, devil has put a lot of strive, rejection, and bitterness in marriage. You may have all the money and everything in the world but if you are not accepted in the family money is of no use.
Divorce is one of the most painful experiences of rejection in life. When two people who love each other in marriage, they are one flesh and one body and walk away from the marriage, the other person is left with painful rejection. Imagine if there is adultery, how much of rejection and pain it can cause?
Some people reject themselves. Many people are very judgmental on themselves.
False Opinion Of Self
It may be past experiences, their upbringing, or what others have said about them. Sometimes people try to measure up to someone and they feel rejected. They then conclude, “I am not good enough. I have no education like others. I do not look good. And I am not talented. My income is bad and it goes on and on. I am not worthy. I don’t really matter. Most of the time it is imagined.
People judge themselves on how tall you are, how short, thin, fat, hair, color of your hair.
So rejection is universal and we can be rejected by others and sometimes we ourselves can reject us.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the Orthodox Jewish rabbi who is known for his secular outreach and TLC show “Shalom in the Home,” was friends with Michael Jackson for several years. He said, “I think Michael lived with a profound fear of rejection.” He said Michael told that “Everything I’ve done in pursuing fame, in honing my craft was an effort to be loved because I never felt loved.”
Characteristics of a rejected person
Most of the time rejection is not seen in the outside and we know how to cover things up well. But when rejection takes root invariably it comes out in our behaviour.
Have you ever said, “I feel sad, I feel so lonely, I feel so angry, so mad that he did this to me.” You fill in the blank. I feel so depressed and I don’t know why. So you start to deal with that feeling and try to do things to move away from that feeling. Until we deal with that feeling all that we do is to coverup those feelings with other things or we blame others for the way we feel and little by little we shut everyone who made us feel that way and then we never have anybody in our lives. Then they get very lonely and they are not living in the very thing that they feared.
They become very critical of self and others. For them to feel good they bring you down to where they are. They have difficulty loving others and accepting others.
If you compliment a rejected person, “Sister you look good in that dress today.” They will reply, “What, I did not look good last week?”
Feeling of inferiority
They are loaners. They do not want to have any friends because they have been hurt and rejected once.
Over attention on appearance, dress, looks. Interest on material things of the world. I want to prove myself attitude or that gives me acceptance.
They are easily angered
Attitude of superiority
2 Ways You Can See Rejection
See rejection as a projection
Rejection is another person’s inward turmoil. When we see rejection this way, we will see ourselves differently.
I faced a lot of rejection growing up. Growing up in a Pentecostal home, we had our own values in life. Often times when I was in school in Calcutta, I was the only Christian. So many of my friend’s values did not meet up with my value system. Since I was not one among them, I was always joked about. I was called a priest or a preacher and laughed upon. Growing up, everybody had a mustache by 10th and 11th standard. Coming from the strong Pentecostal background that I come from then, even growing a mustache was considered worldly. I was again mocked for that by my friends, they coined a nickname for me.
Now I realize that the reason they rejected me was not my problem but the projection of their behavior.
Sometimes rejection is projection. It is a projection of someone’s insecurities onto another person.
Saul never accepted David and the anointing he had from God. Instead, King Saul wanted to kill David and chased him all through the land. This was pure insecurity on the part of King Saul. Actually, it was Saul who was afraid. Since Saul did not know how to react, he showed his insecurity to David wanting to kill and suppress him. Sometimes talking bad about others makes people feel better about themselves.
So sometimes rejection is the projection of people’s insecurities. My friends rejected me because they were insecure of their habits and lifestyle. It was projection of their insecurities.
View Rejection As Protection
Protection from something or someone who is not meant to be in our lives anymore. In life, we have seasons of people coming and going but then there are some who stay with us. But if you are going through rejection, consider it as protection from those people whom God is taking away from your life. They were there for a season, but not God is bringing another person. I am not talking here about the husband and wife relationship, I am talking about friends or sometimes even family.
Example: Abraham and lot.
Ways To Overcome Rejection
Accept the Lord
Rejection is a feeling of abandonment and the first way to overcome it is to find acceptance. The key is to find acceptance from a person who will never reject you again, Jesus Christ. Remember God never rejects you. We are all born with rejection, rejected by God or separated by God because of our sin. The great thing is we can be born again and be accepted by God.
Look at one of the purpose of Jesus coming into this world. Luke 4:19 KJV To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 6:2 NKJV For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.
Ephesians 1:6 He (Jesus) hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Those who are already in Christ, have the deep conviction that God has accepted you.
God Accepts Those Who Accept Him
This morning I want to remind us that many a times when we feel life is unfair, everyone has rejected us, never forget that God is always with you. He has promised us according to Hebrews 13:5 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Even in the silence, there is the presence of God. We find in Joseph himself testifies that: Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Apostle Paul was rejected in the city of Corinth.
5When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. 6But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
7Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized. 9One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
Now listen to Romans 8:31-39 31What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Avoid A Victimized Mindset, Improve Your Approach
Reframe rejection as an opportunity to improve our approaches. There are many reasons why we did not get a “yes” from people. The timing might not have been right, we may not be a good fit, we may not have been through enough in our preparation, we may not have presented the best sample of our work, the people who rejected us may have their own needs, biases or limitations. The list of situational factors is endless.
It is easy to personalize rejection and think of it as a reflection of who we are and what we are capable of, as opposed to what we did and how can we do it better next time. Changing what we do is easier than changing another person’s response.
I remember visiting a house during our pastoral ministry and sharing the gospel with a brother who had not come to faith. His wife and children had taken water baptism but somehow this brother would not listen to the gospel. By now many had shared the gospel to him but he would not commit his life to the Lord. I decided I will not share the gospel with him but concentrate on building a good relationship with this brother. Let me tell you when he could genuinely see me as someone who is interested in him and he could see the love and life of Christ in me, he committed his life to the Lord in just three months.
Sometimes changing our approach helps.
Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
I believe acceptance reflects one of the core values of the NT. I also believe it is a core value of City Harvest AG Church. That doesn’t mean we have arrived in this area, but I think it is one area where we want to excel. We want to be long on grace and short on anything that makes people feel unwanted or unloved.
When we read Acts 10, God dealt with Peter to accept the gentiles. God spoke to Peter in a dream and prepared Peter to Cornelius and his men. First, God did not want Peter to consider these Gentiles unclean. He wanted Peter to love and accept them just as they were.
Cornelius was a gentile and the Jews had to table fellowship with the gentiles. So, it was a big deal for Peter to invite those from Cornelius’ house in for food and lodging. See, it was quite a walk from Caesarea to Joppa. They spent one night on the road and arrived around noon the next day. Then they spent one night with Peter in Joppa, and Peter headed back with them the next day. They apparently spent another night somewhere along the way and arrived in Caesarea the day after that.
Peter lodged with these Gentiles and ate a number of meals with them. Then Peter goes against everything he had been taught as a Jew and enters the house of an uncircumcised Gentile. He speaks these words to Cornelius in Acts 10:28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.
In other words, Peter was saying, “I accept you because God has accepted you.”
There is a story about a man who visited a church. The church was fairly full so he walked right up the aisle to the front of the church and plopped down on the floor. He had long scraggly hair and his clothes were a far cry from the Sunday best that most of the people were wearing. The place grew quiet as people just stared at this intruder. Who does he think he is, coming in here like this? Doesn’t he know this is the house of God?
Well, an elderly gentleman with white hair slowly got up from his seat and began shuffling his way down the aisle. Some of the people thought, “Good, old brother Dan will take care of this.” But when the old man finally reached the young misfit, he touched his shoulder and said, “Is this seat taken?” The young man said, “No.” So the elderly man painfully eased himself down on the floor beside him so he wouldn’t be alone throughout the service. People hung their heads in shame as they realized how unloving and unaccepting they had been in their hearts toward this stranger. Through the unconditional acceptance and love of a white-haired old man, someone’s life was changed. Brother Dan became a living telegram of God’s love and acceptance.
What if we were the only means God had to let people know that He loves them and accepts them? Now let me rephrase that. We are the means God has chosen to let people know He loves and accepts them!
2 Corinthians 5:20
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
Folks, we must put any sense of superiority aside and realize that we are no better than the worst sinner who might wander into this building. We are better off because of God’s grace, but in ourselves we are no better. The ground at the foot of the cross is level. We cannot judge someone else to be impure or unclean based on things like race, background, or appearance. Obviously, many people are impure, but it is because they have chosen a path of disobedience to God and His ways. Can they become pure and clean?
Yes! If they will trust Jesus to forgive them and to lead their lives, they can become clean! However, they will have no desire to do so unless we show them how awesome and accepting the love of God is. The Holy Spirit wants to use us, but if we do not have love, 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that gifts and power will not help us or anybody else.
How To Overcome Rejection?
1. Avoid A Victimized Mindset.
2. It Is Not What Man Says About You.
3. Remember The Lord Is With You.
Do a genuine check to see if we have caused our own rejection. Are people rejecting me because of my problem? Did I do or say something because of which that I am rejected? Start praying and working on yourself, God will change you so that you are accepted by others.