Rejection is NOT our Identity
Rejection. The thing we fear, but at some point will face. That feeling that’ll have you jump through hoops to avoid. It comes with what feels like a giant red stamp on your forehead letting the world know you are not wanted. No matter how you describe it, rejection is an ugly word and feeling.
I’m going through the job search process right now, so rejection is getting all too familiar. The “no” emails don’t become bearable the more I get them. It’s exciting to make it to the interview round. I get all hopeful, put my best foot forward, and declare victory. Then the “we’re going in a different direction” email comes. What I feared: the word NO comes along. Rejection. It’s me and not them. I’m not wanted there.
For you, it may not be a job that passes on you. It may be a person in your life that chose to walk away. The team that didn’t think you were good enough to cut it. You maybe don’t fit the culture of your school, so you’re lacking in the friends department; you want him to be “the one” but things don’t work out. Whatever the reason, rejection is no bueno! Regardless of the pep-talk your wonderful family and friends want to give you, it doesn’t help much.
After months of this yucky feeling, I decided to fight back. I first began by taking a look at the damage this feeling was causing.
The Fruit of Rejection
If not dealt with, rejection can plant some pretty wicked seeds that grow into some nasty fruit. After doing some self-reflection, I noticed some not so nice stuff popping up in my life:
- Fear – After the first rejection email, it got more intimidating to apply to other jobs. My first thought “What if they don’t want me either?” Then I began to doubt if I’ll ever find a job, be able to support myself, and so on.
- Not Being Myself – I’m usually very energetic and outgoing, but I found myself wanting to just Netflix and chill by my lonesome feeling sorry for myself.
- Low Self-Esteem – Eventually, I began to just not think that much of myself. If all these people were giving me a “no”, then there must be something wrong with me. I must be the problem and I’ll never be able to do better.
- People Bondage – I was basing my value on the opinions of people. I was looking for a person, not God, to validate me and my worth.
After wrestling with this (for a while), I decided to (finally) turn to God’s word and see what He has to say about all my rejected-ness.
Remember who you are!
(If that made you think of Mufasa from Lion King – GOOD! Because that’s basically the moment I had with God.)
The best way to get over any set back is to remember WHO you are and WHOSE you are!
When people reject us, it’s easy to see ourselves from the lens of failure. I didn’t get the job, so I’m unemployed. He broke up with me, so I must be unlovable. My father wasn’t around, so I must not be important enough to stick around for. Let rejection tell it, we suck. That’s why we have to keep our true identity in mind. Our true identity can only be found in the One that made us!
God’s word is filled with reminders of what He thinks about us.
Here’s what I found:
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 – We are new creations through Christ.
- Ephesians 1: 3-6 – We are blessed with every spiritual blessing through Christ, covered with God’s love, and He has adopted us as His own children.
- Psalm 138:7 – Even when we’re in trouble, God, Himself, will fight for us and save us.
- Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is near to us, especially when we feel crushed and sad.
Those are just a few reminders from the Word of God. Turning back to the Word and reminding myself of His truth, helps me to reject the lies rejection tries to sell me.
Will there be a day when you never have to deal with rejection again? I have no idea, but more likely than not, you’ll face it at some point. Don’t let rejection define you. You are not that moment. You are not lacking.
You are loved! You have purpose! You matter!