“If you live for people’s acceptance you will die from their rejection.” – Lecrae
Last week I checked my email and my heart sunk.
Then I checked it again and the pit grew deeper.
Not one, but TWO unsubscribe notifications in my inbox.
All kinds of emotions flooded me: Confusion. Insecurity. Disappointment. Regret. Man, my feelings were down right hurt. But the biggest emotion of them all was rejection.
At that moment I couldn’t comprehend why this happened. Was it me? Something I said? What did I do wrong? Why was someone rejecting me?
People love to say, “Don’t take it personal” when they’re not the one experiencing a certain situation. But in reality, rejection is a real feeling and it hurts like crap.
I was curious why this hit me like it did. The reality is, this wasn’t the first time I’ve felt rejection. My father wasn’t in my life growing up – rejection. I’ve applied for jobs and didn’t get them – rejection. I’ve given my heart to people and it wasn’t handled with care – rejection.
I know I’m not the only person who has experienced rejection. Maybe you’re feeling it right now. Was it because of a failed relationship? An absent parent? Not being accepted or recognized by the “in-crowd?” I’m sure there are other scenarios where you felt brushed off. But whatever the culprit is, it has caused you pain.
Luke 6:31 says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” So it would be great if we received the outcome of our actions, especially when our motives are pure. Right? But that’s not always the case. Instead, it just brings a deeper sting.
- I stepped outside of my comfort zone to do as I was instructed, people unsubscribed.
- I tried to foster a relationship with my dad, to no avail.
- I have multiple degrees, but have received the infamous “Thanks, but no thanks emails.”
- I was a true friend to many, yet it wasn’t reciprocated.
See, the results weren’t as I expected even though I did what was right.
I would usually hold these feelings in and keep moving. Not this time though, I needed answers. So I immediately sought the Lord and hoped to be comforted by Him. That’s when He reminded me what rejection really was. Rejection is when you live a life of people-pleasing and the ones you seek approval from don’t respond how you think they should.
Then He checked me….
“Why are you seeking approval from a list, an absent parent, a job, a “friend”? Don’t let the response of people become your validation. I’m the only one who can validate you. I don’t want perfect performance just a perfect heart.” His soft voice reaffirmed I’m on the right path. Giving me the strength to keep going.
In dealing with rejection, God has provided me with a great reminder. As long as I’m concerned with pleasing people and seeking validation from them, I can’t please Him. We should be concerned with pleasing God because He loves and accepts us no matter what. He’s the only constant and perfect thing in life and will never reject us. We just have to maintain a pure heart.
Regardless of the why behind our feelings, God wants to heal us from past hurts caused by rejection. He never intended for us to feel this way. He desires that we stop working so hard for perfection to please people, because His approval is all we need.
So the next time you encounter situations where you feel rejected, repeat this declaration with me. “Fear of rejection will not imprison me. I will no longer let the actions of people serve as validation for who God has already declared I am. I am gifted, talented, loved, but most importantly accepted by God. Pleasing people is impossible so my focus is on pleasing God. And when times get tough I will remember Galatians 6:9 – ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’”