I’ve gotten together with my gal pals to do a study on Lysa TerKeurst’s bestseller, Uninvited. It’s a book about overcoming rejection by learning to live loved. It has surprised me how much this study has affected me.
Lysa says, “rejection isn’t just an emotion we feel. It’s a message that goes to the core of who we are, causing us to believe lies about ourselves, others, and God.” Truth! In this world that deals out rapid-fire rejection, we all have lies we believe.
For myself, my core rejection issues stem from my biological father’s alcoholism. As a kid, I thought he chose alcohol over me. The core belief from that was I was less-than and disposable. Now, even though I know the science behind addiction, that wound is still raw and painful.
For others, not being allowed into the popular clique leaves its mark. For some, it’s the withholding of affection from dysfunctional parents that tells them they aren’t enough. Sadly, rejection is a universal pain with as many sources as there are people.
These wounds then skew the way we interact with others. They certainly affect the way we relate to God. My core belief of being disposable has resulted in my being an over-achiever who feels judged by her inefficiencies. So, I don’t cut myself any slack.
Some people deal with the scars by becoming overly clingy, and they panic if they think someone will reject them. But the most frequent form of rejection that comes from these wounds is self-rejection. Lysa says, “negative self-talk was a rejection from my past I had allowed to settle into the core of who I am. I talked to myself in ways I would never allow another person. Hints of self-rejection laced my thoughts and poisoned my words more than I cared to admit.” And when we are rejecting ourselves, it’s easy to interpret benign events through that lens.
Here’s something I hear from clients, “Someone put something nasty on Facebook, and I know it was about me.” That’s a lens of rejection turned toward people. Here’s another lens of rejection, “I know God loves me, but He loves everybody.”
When people can’t or won’t internalize and personalize the love of God found in Christ Jesus, they have a problem. The cure for rejection is not found in the world’s acceptance. It certainly isn’t found in human relationships. It’s not even found in over-achieving. The cure for rejection is learning to live loved by accepting you are precious to God. You were so special to Him He created every cell in your body, and He believes you are a masterpiece worth dying for. You don’t get more chosen and accepted than that.
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also graciously give us all things (Romans 8)?” There you have it. The recipe for living loved. Take that like it’s Neosporin and apply liberally to that wound in your heart.