The Gift of Rejection
Rejection isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes man's rejection is God's protection. It all depends on how you look at it.
We have a tendency when people reject us to look at it as a negative thing. Afterall, who wants to be unwanted? Who wants a loss? However, every closed door or person who rejects us isn't necessarily a loss.
Years ago a friend of mine told me something that changed my life. She said, "If I've got it it's good. If I don't have it it's good. If you're in my life it's good. If you're not in my life it's good." Those words totally changed the way I looked at so-called rejection and gave me a new found peace.
In the past when doors would close my mind would go in circles trying to figure out what I could have done differently. Why wasn't I chosen? Was I not qualified? Where was my value? When people would walk out of my life I would feel the stabbing pain of rejection. Why would they leave? What did I do?
The pain of that loss would cut me so deep and leave me agonizing over their absence long after they were gone. I would replay conversations and scenarios over in my head trying to figure out if I did something wrong to make them leave. With each rejection and loss the emotional pain became paralyzing. It felt like my heart was being shredded.
I never knew rejection could hurt so much.
It wasn't until I read a study about rejection that I fully began to understand that what I was going through was more than just a feeling. It was actually physical. In a study that was done where the participants were placed in an MRI machine and told to recall a recent rejection something interesting was discovered. The same area of our brains that becomes activated when we experience physical pain was the same area being activated when these participants recalled rejection. (Study done by the Department of Psychology, Univ. of Michigan, Univ. of Colorado, Columbia Univ. and New York State Psychiatric Institute.)
The body can't differentiate between physical pain and emotional pain. Rejection causes our bodies to respond in the same was as if we had just gotten stabbed or broken our leg. This is why rejection hurts so bloody bad.
But the good news is, we don't have to be a victim of rejection, not when we truly understand our purpose and value in Christ. Before I came to this understanding whenever I experienced any sort of rejection I felt as if I was getting the shaft. If a door closed that I felt should be opened I saw it as denial or an injustice. How's come they're getting favor and I'm being denied? Are they better than me? Am I not good enough?
These thoughts would flood my head. Then it would oftentimes turn to anger towards God as if He was keeping good things from me even though He had the power to give me them. But that wasn't the case at all. He was actually allowing closed doors and rejection from people to keep me from going down paths that would lead to detours, wasted time, wasted emotions and pain.
I began to understand that whatever is for me is for me. No one can take what is mine as long as I am seeking the will of God for my life. "What then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" - Romans 8:31
Whoever is called to your destiny can't leave, and whoever is not a part of your destiny can't stay. So, when people leave don't grieve, kiss them goodbye. It's a gift. God is able to see what we can't see. He can see the road ahead and He can see that they aren't going the same direction as you.
However, if you are anything like me, you may be loyal to a fault, meaning you allow people into your life that don't deserve access simply because you're a kind hearted person. And us kind hearted people tend to be overly forgiving, which means we can have a tendency to keep allowing people back into our lives long after they should have gotten the boot.
So, in God's sovereignty He allows people to do things that will force them out of your life because He knows you won't do it. He knows you'll keep allowing them back in even if you know they're not good for you. But you can't seem to help it. It's your nature to look for the good in people even to the own detriment of yourself.
And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with looking for the good in people. In fact, we should always look for the good in people. However, that doesn't mean everyone deserves to be in our inner circle. Some people have to stay outside of the circle. And forgiveness doesn't always equate access.
You can forgive a person, but you don't have to allow them the same access they had before the offense. A lesson I had to learn the hard way (and it may be a lesson you have to learn as well) is this:
When people don't appreciate your presence give them the gift of your absence.
Learn to take back control of your life. Stop giving access to every Tom, Dick, Harry and Sally that is merely looking for a body to fill up a vacancy. Your time is valuable. Why? Because you are valuable. Everybody is deserving of respect, but not everybody is deserving of your time. There's a huge difference there.
There are many people out there who will find you appealing, attractive, luring and interesting, but just because they can see you are valuable, doesn't mean they will value you. This is where it can get tricky, because if we're not careful we can allow the scorpions on our back and then wonder why we keep feeling the sting of their rejection for not valuing us.
Let me explain. There once was a scorpion and a toad sitting by the river. The scorpion said to the toad, "I can't swim. Can you please give me a ride on your back so I can cross the river?"
The toad said, "No, of course not. You're a scorpion. You will sting me on my back."
The scorpion said, "Why would I do a thing like that? If I sting you as we cross the river we both would die."
The toad thought about it. "You have a point," he said. "Okay, I'll give you a ride on my back then."
So, the scorpion crawled on top of the toad's back. Halfway across the river the toad felt the piercing sting of the scorpions stinger.
The toad shrieked. "What have you done? You have stung me! Now we both will die! Why did you do that?"
The scorpion said, "I can't help it. It's my nature."
So often God shows us that people are scorpions, but our loyalty and good nature causes us to keep allowing them on our backs many times after they have stung us. But rather than realizing they are a scorpion that we should have never allowed on our back in the first place, we instead see it as rejection.
But this is the problem my friend. Why do you want to be friends with a scorpion in the first place? You are not required to subject yourself to their stings. You can still be the loving, loyal, kind-hearted person you are without giving them access. Just keep building up all that love and goodness you have inside and give it to the people who truly value and appreciate you.
It's time to stop devaluing yourself. Stop seeing a scorpions stinger as you being rejected. This is God's protection. He is trying to help you get the scorpions out of your life. It's time to stop chasing after scorpions. Stop calling them. Stop taking their calls. Stop texting them. Stop listening to their excuses. Stop allowing them into your personal space. Let them go.
You are not being rejected. You are being protected. Start to praise God. You are only a victim if you choose to be. It's all about how you choose to see it. You can take the negative things in life and allow them to beat you down or you can use them as building blocks.
Its time to start building.
How many times do you get angry at other people for mistreating you? But people only treat you the way you let them treat you. If someone mistreats you and you continue to allow this person the same access into your life then you are essentially saying it's okay.
Words are only words until there is action behind them, and people only change when they want to change. If you keep telling someone you don't like it when they do something, but yet they keep doing it, then that is a person who doesn't respect or value you.
Their mistreatment and disrespect of you doesn't mean you aren't worthy of respect, however, when your actions don't substantiate your words - meaning there's no consequences for their bad behavior, then you are essentially sending a message to this person that you don't consider yourself worthy of respect.
After awhile if you continue to allow this person to misteat you then you will begin to have your self-esteem chipped away at. This is where that spirit of rejection, that orphan spirit creeps in, and tells you that you are no good.
Well, I am here to tell you that voice is a lie. It is time for you to get up. You are not rejected. You are chosen. The ball is in your court. You are not at the whim of people. It is time for you to take back your power.
If someone walks out on you, praise God that your Daddy loves you enough to get detours and distractions to your destiny out of your life. Use the time that they would have wasted and invest it in yourself. You'll be surprised at how far you'll be one year from the time they left. If a door closes, best believe He's got two more waiting for you that will be much better.
So, this year make it your goal to begin to see rejection as a gift, and you'll be amazed at how you won't even feel those scorpion stingers anymore.
Wait, hold up, we're no longer putting scorpions on our backs in the first place.