Life’s Rejection or God’s Protection?
Click here to read in Spanish – ¿El rechazo de la vida o la protección de Dios?
Life’s Rejection or God’s Protection? What a phrase…right? What does it mean and how can I avoid the rejection part of it, could be what you’re thinking right now. The King James Version Dictionary defines rejection as: To throw away as anything useless or vile; to cast off; to forsake; to refuse to receive; to slight; to despise. As I read the definition, I thought, wow, as I shook my head from side to side. Have you ever been rejected? Have you ever rejected someone? From experience I can tell you that rejection is not always a bad thing.
In the field of mental health care, rejection most frequently refers to the feelings of shame, sadness, or grief people feel when they are not accepted by others. Let’s break that sentence down—shall we. Shame is a painful sensation of having done something which injures reputation. Sadness is being habitually melancholy; gloomy; not gay or cheerful. Grief is the cause of sorrow.
Rejection and scripture
Now, let’s view rejection according to scripture.
Shame: 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Are you ashamed of something you did or said? Confess it to God, repent, and move forward.
Sadness: The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17-18. Did you read that? The Lord is near when you are sad/crushed in spirit. I know this to be a fact.
Grief: Jesus Wept – John 11:35. Jesus wept because he was grieving.
We have all experienced shame, sadness, and grief, and for some they’ve culminated in perpetual and endless mental and emotional rejection.
According to Psychology Today, Rejection…
Piggybacks on physical pain pathways in the brain. MRI studies show that the same areas of the brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain.
Temporarily lowers our IQ. Being asked to recall a recent rejection experience and relive the experience was enough to cause people to score significantly lower on subsequent IQ tests, tests of short-term memory, and tests of decision making.
A knife in your heart; a punch in the gut
What does rejection feel like? A festering wound; a punch in the gut; a knife in your heart; isolation. Have you ever been quit, as in “I quit you.” I know I’m dating myself, but back when I was a teen, we used to say that to people we broke up with. What about getting your first pink slip? That’s when the company you’ve given your heart and soul to, fires you. Have you ever been shunned by your ‘church friends’? The people you’ve prayed with and for are now passing you by in the halls on their way to the sanctuary as if you’re not even there. And being ignored or given the silent treatment to from one of your parents can be devastating. I have good news.
God’s protection? How could that be?
Rejection can be God’s protection. Are you scratching your head right now, trying to figure out what I mean by that? Okay, let’s say that your boyfriend ‘quit’ you. Your first reaction could be, what did I do? It could be, everybody will laugh at me. Or it could be, if he walks away, let him. There is a reason and if he doesn’t want to be with me, it’s his loss. Now I’m open to the ‘one’ who will not walk away from me. I can’t move forward while looking backward. God is telling me that was not for me. Let’s say you got a pink slip. You could immediately go into panic mode. Oh no, what am I going to do! How will I find another job? Perhaps, just maybe, God allowed that to happen to shake you up a little and move you forward from complacency to the abundant path He has for you. Was your job draining the life out of you? Were you overworked and underpaid? Maybe now you can begin to actualize your dream instead of helping someone else make theirs come true. Did your best friend unfriend you or block your calls? That happened to me. I still don’t know why, to this day, but after seeking God, I had to let it go. Being rejected by someone you’ve shared your deepest and darkest secrets with is wounding…boy does it hurt. You might even vow to never trust anyone again. Could that ‘bestie’ have been secretly jealous of you, only wishing you harm behind your back? Could they have not been as good a friend to you as you were to them? You might have been ‘all in’ and willing to, as they say, ride or die; think Thelma and Louise. But they really weren’t. Would you have preferred to continue on with someone who didn’t hold you in high esteem and have your best interest at heart or would you have rather of been rejected or discarded by them? Think about it.
Although rejection may not always be protection, protection will be the final outcome if we trust God. Romans 8:28: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Moving forward, when I feel rejected, I vow to seek God, soul search, and then move forward. I choose to take life’s rejection as God’s protection. Will you?