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Overcoming Rejection, Part II

Updated on June 29, 2012

Rejection is one of life’s most painful experiences. To overcome it, we rely on God’s unconditional love, wise counsel, and the acceptance of safe friends.

Let’s examine some of rejection’s lies, and consider the Bible’s peaceable answers.

People are always accurate judges; they're right about you.

We’re especially vulnerable to this lie if we learned as children that authority figures are infallible. In reality, people are just people. They don’t know everything. They cannot see into the heart, as God does. Listening to and growing from constructive criticism is a valuable exercise; but we are not obligated to accept false accusations, especially those aimed not at our behavior but at our inherent worth.

Action step

Honestly, prayerfully assess your actions. If you had a part, own it and receive God’s forgiveness. Renounce any false accusations out loud.

Scripture to memorize

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)

If someone rejects you, you’re worthless.

This lie dances with our belief that other people are qualified to judge our inherent value. In fact, people might reject us for a thousand unseen reasons that have nothing to do with us and everything to do with their issues. Even if they are correct about our rejection-causing actions, they cannot overrule God’s opinion about us. God created each person in his image, and we are valuable to him.

Action step

Although you make mistakes, you are an unrepeatable miracle. List the unique gifts and qualities that God has given you. Thank him.

Scriptures to memorize

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them…. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:27, 31)

Whoever comes to me I will never cast out. – John 6:37

There’s something inherently wrong with you.

Rejection can suggest to us that we are unacceptably different. This lie frequently rides in on peer group rejections. Children hear it when they are excluded from cliques. Or, perhaps a rejection occurred because we have been through a hard trial, and we’re responding in ways our friends can’t understand. Their distance may be due more to confusion than outright rejection; but it can give the scary impression that we’re abnormal.

It helps to realize that whatever our reactions to trials are, they’re normal, because we are human. Being human defines normal – not the other way around. Realizing that others experience the same types of trials, and respond in similar ways, helps refute this lie.

Action step

Find and connect with people who have had similar experiences.

Scriptures to memorize

No temptation has seized you except what is common to mankind. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Be self controlled and alert… because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Once I’m done with you, you’ll be all alone.

When rejected, we may doubt that we’ll ever be accepted again. This insidious lie can lead us into prolonged isolation; we tend to act on what we believe. Of course, isolation is the last thing a rejected person needs.

Ironically, rejection can open the door to deeper friendships. It’s important to continue seeking fellowship, even if it’s the last thing we feel like doing. We can dare to be vulnerable as we find safe people.

Most significantly, God promises that he will never forsake us. We can be sure, even if we don’t feel his presence, that he is with us and leading us onto solid ground.

Action step

Call a friend – a new one, if necessary.

Scriptures to memorize

Let us not give up meeting together… but let us encourage one another. (Hebrews 10:25)

God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27)

You should throw a pity party.

Rejection tempts us to pity ourselves. Self-pity only compounds the problem, affirming to us that we are helpless. If we surrender to self-pity, rejection has won.

The Biblical solution is to look away from ourselves to God and others. Bypassing self-pity, we can focus on the gifts and abilities God has given us, and use them to serve others. This restores our confidence. Focusing on the good things God and people have done also restores our hope.

Being rejected because of our faith means we’ve chosen to stay with God even when it was difficult. And God noticed it. That’s a reason to rejoice!

Action step

Find a way to serve someone.

Scriptures to memorize

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Blessed are you when men… exclude you… because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day… because great is your reward in heaven. (Luke 6:22-23)


I can’t do anything right.

This is the corollary to self-pity. Rejection that we may have partly caused can so prick our pride that we sink into utter shame and defeat. The truth is that we all sin; it’s part of being human. If we’ve done all we can to reconcile with the person, we can let it go. Our mistakes don’t have to devastate us. We can humbly pick ourselves up, learn, and move on.

Action step

Write a letter to the offended person, seeking forgiveness for anything you did that contributed to the rejection.

Scripture to memorize

For we all stumble in many ways. (James 3:2a)

Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather healed. (Hebrews 12:13)

This is the end; there’s no hope.

We’ve heard the expression “darkest before dawn.” The trick is believing it applies to our life. Rejection can warp our perspective, convincing us that our life is an irredeemable catastrophe.

In fact, rejection can be the beginning of a deeper walk with God, more significant ministry, and greater empathy for other people. Who would you turn to in distress – someone who has no experience with rejection, or someone who can relate? God still has plans for you. Trust him.

Action step

Write about your experience with rejection while it’s fresh. Mention your feelings and responses, and the truths that give you hope. Someday, your message will help somebody.

Scriptures to memorize

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (Jeremiah 29:11 The Message)

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Psalm 43:5)


Rejection hurts, but it does not have the power to destroy us. It can even be a catalyst for growth and greater love. Let’s confront it with God’s truth.

Which of rejection's lies do you want to overcome?

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