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Handling Rejection God’s Way
My friend, Jessica VanRoekel, is the author of a new book that helps heal hearts: Reframing Rejection: How Looking Through a Different Lens Changes Everything
I gave an endorseement: In a “cancel culture” society, where most feel the sting of rejection, the cold shoulder, the rebuff, or the pain of harsh and harmful words, Jessica Van Roekel’s Reframing Rejection, How Looking Through a Different Lens Changes Everything, is a life line of hope and healing. Flip the script by learning to look at God’s redemptive solutions for living whole and healthy in this broken world.
Here is an excerpt from Jessica’s heart that can help you or someone you love:
We can learn how to handle rejection God’s way when rejection strikes our life.
Rejection is a three-pronged weapon. It wounds our interpersonal relationships because of the breakdown that happens when one or another person rejects. Rejection shatters a healthy perception of ourselves because we either take on a victim mentality where we say it’s all someone else’s fault or we absorb the blame for the relational fallout. The third area that experiences injury from rejection is our relationship with God. He sometimes seems silent or uncaring or far away when a rejection splinters our life.
Rejection is not simple. There are many factors at play in a rejection event and knowing how to handle rejection helps us move forward. A normal response to the pain rejection creates is to retreat from people and God. Our pain can drive us to ruminate inward or to ignore the situation and pretend we’re not hurt. Both responses make it harder to handle rejection. If we can flip the script and start with God, we will find our way through the pain.
Handle Rejection by Turning to God First
Starting with God is the first step in how to handle rejection in a healthy way and involves reflecting on who God is. He is steadfast, faithful, everlasting, kind, merciful, and gracious. He hears our cries and sees our needs. He doesn’t leave us to flounder but enters our pain. Jesus endured pain and rejection for our sake. If the Savior of the world can hold rejection in one hand and love for us in the other, then we can endure the pain rejection causes.
These three verses that remind us of who God is can show us how to handle rejection:
He is love: And so, we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:16
He is Our help: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
He is faithful: Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. Deuteronomy 7:9
We Can Remember Our Identity in Christ
Rejection can splinter our perception of ourselves. At times, we can blame others for the situation and refuse to be open to the Holy Spirit’s direction in our life. The flip side of it is to take on the whole weight of the rejection breakdown and feel condemned for the entire situation. These two ways don’t teach us how to handle rejection God’s way. Instead, we can reflect on our identity in Christ and how the Holy Spirit refines us through our life experiences.
Three verses that remind us of who we are in Christ:
We belong to him: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
We are made new: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
We have purpose: We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you in Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20
We Can Trust God with our Relationships
The most obvious area that rejection harms is our relationships with other people. Yet, what do we do with a broken friendship, especially if it’s someone in the Church? Loving someone who was once a friend and who is now an enemy helps us learn to be more like Jesus. Although, it’s not easy and it takes a great deal of courage, it is a way for God to be glorified in our lives. We can learn to view rejection through his lens as he teaches us how to handle rejection through his word.
Three verses to handle rejection and our perception of others:
Walk in forgiveness: Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
Do good to others: Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:10
Pray for others: Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
When we reflect and remember who God is, who we are to him, and how we need to interact with others, we’re able to handle rejection in a way that brings healing to the hurt places in our lives, compassion for ourselves and others, and deepens our reliance on God.
Jessica Van Roekel leads Welcome Grace ministry and is a wife of 20 years, mother of four children, worship leader, homeschooling mother, and friend. She says, “I likes dark chocolate and darker coffee. If you peeked into my home on a Sunday afternoon you would find me surrounded by music, books, magazines and sometimes a grumpy kitty stretched out on my lap. I spend my days juggling multiple grades, activities, and discipling my kids, and sneaking in time to write in slivers of time. Some days are full of productivity and other days I wonder what happened to the kitchen counters and where in the world did my sofa disappear too? The hard answer is that I am still becoming.”
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