Hope Discovery of the Day:
Rejection loses its power in the face of God’s grace.
Scriptures of the Day:
“It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe.”
Galatians 1:10 (GNTD)
“Does this sound as if I am trying to win human approval? No indeed! What I want is God’s approval! Am I trying to be popular with people? If I were still trying to do so, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Suffering a crushing blow from a friend, I turned the accusations over in my brain, multiple times. How did it come to this?
The Progression and Severity of Rejection
When conflict arises, it can lead to rejection and judgment, but the severity of our pain is based on our response to it even though we may feel blameless.
Rejection hurts. The sting of rejection is worsened when the other person shares their feelings about you with others. Add to that our own perceptions, which can mislead us. A feeling of being entrapped by that person’s definition of us begins to overwhelm us and before we know it, we are in a perpetual state of discouragement. Maybe their filter has been applied to others, too, who have not heard our own perspective. Then things can begin to snowball . . .
Is there a way out of this cycle? Yes.
A question rises in my Spirit that helps me to quiet the agony of wondering why someone would betray me, not believe the best of me or speak poorly of me. “What should my response be, in light of all that God has done for me?” Instead of responding in the flesh, we can rise above the flesh and choose to keep our love “on”. We can choose gratitude.
I can hear you saying, “grateful for this”? Yes. Grateful because it is an opportunity to grow and to see our shortcomings, too. Perhaps their behavior provoked us to sin, which we are accountable for. Bitterness, hurt feelings, and unforgiveness – these kinds of responses just hurt us.
Humility, self-examination, and a teachable spirit help us to overcome the judgment of others. The discomfort and pain that come from being mischaracterized are often birthed in pride or self-preoccupation. Sure, no one likes to be thought wrongly of, but when our focus shifts to how can we can glorify God rather than how we can prove ourselves, then our struggle with rejection loses its power.
Take a deep breath for this one: ultimately, we all have something we need to own up to, even if it is completely unrelated to our present situation. Sure, we might not be guilty of something we are being accused of, but we are capable of falling short in plenty of areas and it is by God’s grace alone when we don’t. Anything good in us is only Christ and none of us are perfect. God knows that. When we do actually fall, He is also able to pick us back up.
News flash! Everyone is not going to like us. Accepting this reality does not mean we accept a false belief about ourselves. It just means that our worth is not based on other people’s view of us. When God gives us favor with man, it is ultimately for His glory and not our own.
Living a life of integrity means when we make mistakes, people who know our heart will give us grace. Those who don’t, we can give grace to. We all make mistakes and don’t need to beat ourselves up when we do.
Give up our Defense
It gets tiring trying to defend ourselves to people who don’t know our character. We can become enslaved to man’s opinion which is idolatry. When we just keep doing the next best right thing, we can leave the rest to our Defender. It may take awhile to prove our character, but the process is invaluable. God is trustworthy and able to clean up our messes and other people’s too.