Responding to Rejection
by Charles F. Stanley
How are you to respond when you experience times of rejection? Should you curl up in a dark corner and engage in self-pity? Will you withdraw from life completely and disown the people who love and accept you? No!
You are to do three specific things when you feel an intense need to belong.
1. Believe what God says about you.
Through the years, I have had a number of divorced or widowed people say to me, “I feel like a nobody.” My response to them is, “That’s not what God says about you.”
God says you are a somebody. You are so special and valuable to Him that He sent His Son to die for your sins, and He made it possible for the Holy Spirit to come and dwell within you. He did that to remind you on a daily basis that you are valuable beyond measure in His eyes.
“But I feel so all alone in the world,” someone might say.
You aren’t alone, because God is with you. He has promised to stay right by your side, regardless of what happens to you. Even if everybody you know has rejected you, God will not leave you. Be assured that you are forgiven and a full-fledged member of God’s family. In Christ, we are His children, never to be denied, rejected, or turned away from His presence.
2. Seek God’s acceptance first.
Divorce is devastating because it destroys a person’s sense of belonging. It creates an even greater need to belong, a need that isn’t felt as keenly or as deeply when a person is happily married.
A woman whose husband had recently divorced her confessed to me, “I don’t feel as if I belong anyplace anymore. My life has been ripped apart. What can I do?”
“Go to Christ,” I said. “Trust the Lord to be the One who provides for you. He alone can give you identity and supply comfort in your loneliness. Do everything obediently in service to Him, trusting Him to direct your path. Know that He will shelter you from evil, uphold you, and provide daily guidance. Depend on Him with your entire being, and surrender completely to His will.”
Is God’s acceptance of you more important than acceptance by other people? You have been given the ability and prerogative to ignore God, continue on your own way, and rebel against His desire enjoy a growing relationship with you. But why not spend time in His Word to see the deep, unconditional love He has for you? Why not give in and yield to His compassionate, fatherly embrace?
3. Recognize that God will never reject you.
Perhaps you are afraid that you might one day lose God’s acceptance and love. Nothing, my friend—absolutely nothing—can destroy your standing in Christ or diminish the love He extends to you. Not now, not ever.
When my grandson was very young, the first thing he would do when he came to my house was demand to sit on my lap. He had a sense—rightly so—that there was no other person I would rather have been with in that moment.
Friend, that’s the way God feels about you and me. He delights in being with us. He holds us tenderly. And there is no other person in the world He would rather be with. The amazing truth about our infinite God is that He is capable of expressing to us all His love and attention. In our finite minds, we can not grasp that. But in God’s great and infinite love, He can completely meet my need for belonging, just as surely as He can fully meet yours.
When you feel as if you don’t belong, come to God with a desire to sit for a while in His presence. Come with a willingness to be held, like a child, in His everlasting arms. Allow yourself to relax. You are 100 percent welcome there. The Father longs for you to be with Him.
Adapted from “Our Unmet Needs” by Charles F. Stanley, 1999, pp.197-203.