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Coffee Break: Surrendering Rejection to Redirection

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No one enjoys being rejected, but if you have lived long enough, you know rejection is a part of life's journey. Many of us can recall the first time we felt the painful sting of rejection. Maybe it was a friend that shunned you out of the friend group in middle school, or when you didn't make a sports team, whatever it was, you probably can remember how you felt when you were rejected. Rejection hurts, no matter how old or young you are. Rejection can throw us down the "you're not enough" pit. You are not good enough, smart enough, talented enough, pretty enough, or cool enough; the pit of not enough' is a deep and dark one.

Recently, I submitted an application for a senior position at my organization. Interestingly, I wasn't going to apply, but I did and then I was going to withdraw my application, but I decided to go through with it. Only one other person and I were interviewing. As the day drew closer, I started to feel like maybe God didn't want this for me. So, I prayed and said, "God, if it is your will for the other person to get the job, I pray they get it, and if they need it more than I do, then I pray that you give it to them." Something in my spirit was stirring. I had the interview, and guess what? I didn't get the job.

God had clearly answered my prayer. Although I knew this was an answered prayer, I still felt that old sting of rejection. Wasn't my presentation good enough? Was I not good enough? What about all my contributions over the years? Weren't they sufficient? What was it? Then I had to pause and remind myself that I had asked God not to give me this position if it wasn't in His will or if the other candidate needed it more, and He clearly gave me the confirmation I needed.

I had submitted my request for His sovereignty, but my flesh and ego did not surrender fully to His will. I started out viewing the situation through a spiritual lens, and when I felt the pangs of rejection, my lens changed.

I started to think about how we view rejection and how human rejection can turn into spiritual redirection if we look at and experience it through a spiritual lens. So, how can we do this? First, let's take a page from someone who had experienced being repeatedly rejected to the point of death...Jesus!

Mark 12:10

"Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone;

What Would Jesus Do?

Jesus experienced rejection from the moment He entered the world! Remember Herod? Then, throughout His ministry, He was rejected by the Pharisees, people who met him, and even His own disciple, Judas. Jesus came to earth in the human form and, therefore, was not excluded from every human feeling, including the pain of being rejected. Did that hurt stop Him from completing His mission or purpose? Absolutely not! Jesus went forward in spite of rejection, ridicule, threats, and eventually death.

He did not allow the rejection to misdirect Him! He went on with His Father's business. He believed in the sovereign will of God and did not allow those pesky feelings that arise from rejection to take Him off His course (which Satan would have loved). Jesus walked in the Spirit, was guided by the Spirit, and was obedient. With Resurrection Sunday coming up soon, I can't help but think about the humiliation, anguish, and pain Jesus suffered from the rejection that led to Him on the cross. But remember that the cross was God's ultimate plan. Through it all, God had a plan for Jesus, and that rejection was not a misdirection; it was the direction God had intended all along, a plan to save humanity. I wonder if we took this and applied it to our own life if we would have a different view of rejection?

How the Enemy Weaponizes Rejection in Our Life

1 Peter 5:8

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

The enemy loves to wreak havoc on our minds. When those negative, self-deprecating, and self-sabotaging thoughts start to snowball, the enemy will use them to try to get you further away from God's abundance for your life. If the enemy can weaponize rejection to make you doubt your identity in Christ and instead make you think that your identity is reliant on the external, then he is paving the path to cause confusion, isolation, discouragement, and distraction, all of which are intended to make you think you are not equipped, that you are lacking when we know according to Ephesians 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Friend, your identity is not wrapped up in man's standards; your identity is in Christ and Christ alone. Rejection hurts because it feels personal; we can feel like the essence of who we are is being rejected. We have to stand firmly in our identity in Christ and know that we are not rejected; our Savior fully and unconditionally accepts us. Those temporary things of the world will fall away, but the eternal is everlasting.

If you are experiencing rejection, it's normal to feel the emotions that come along with it but don't stay in that place, don't tie the rejection to your identity, or allow that rejection to misdirect you from God's bigger plan. Surrender and submit to God's redirection. The sting of human rejection will pass, so don't allow it to redirect your spiritual compass and your eternal purpose.

Don't Allow Rejection to be a Stumbling Block But a Building Block

There are so many valuable lessons that come with rejection if we choose to learn them. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is God trying to show me through this rejection? What is God teaching you? What lesson is there to learn?

  • How can I lean into Jesus more during this time of rejection? This is a perfect opportunity for you to grow closer to the one who will never reject you and experience that peace and love.

  • Is the rejection a blessing in disguise? You may not see it at the moment, but God may be saving you from something or someone that is not for you, and you can't see it!

  • Am I internalizing this rejection and confusing it with my identity?

  • How can I take this rejection and redirect? Maybe the rejection is a fork in the road for you! Take another avenue that God is leading you down, and don't stay stuck at a dead end.

  • Are you allowing the rejection to discourage, distract, make you doubt yourself, or diminish your view of who you are in Christ? Remember, the enemy wants to deter you from every good thing the Lord has planned for you! Don't allow it to happen!

Going back to my story with the interview. God had been pricking my heart that this position may not be for me, and I probably should have obeyed and withdrawn. But, even then, God used this to gently remind me about surrender and submission, a lesson that I am constantly learning. Even through rejection our God is so good!

Rejection stings, but the Lord is the healing balm! Don't allow rejection to stop you; instead, let it redirect you to wherever your Savior is leading you! Do what Jesus did and go about your Father's business!


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