Read Psalm 34:17-20
We feel rejected when someone refuses to accept us or something we believe in, or they refuse to hear us or consider our idea or point of view. A “reject” is something that is not wanted, unsatisfactory, or not fulfilling a requirement. Have you ever experienced feeling disapproved, refused, or had someone withhold understanding or affection?
We all, to some degree, have a fear of rejection. The reaction to this fear can look different depending on the person. Some of us are more wired to “fight” when we face a conflict (or a rejection)- we become hurt, disappointed, even indignant. We argue passionately for our case. Others of us move toward the “flight” response – shut down, lose confidence, and run away.
I recently heard an interesting talk at a work conference called “Rejection Proof”. The speaker had discovered that his fear of rejection was holding him back in significant ways in his personal and professional life, so he decided to embark on a journey of “rejection therapy”. The idea was to spend 100 days asking for things that were so outrageous that you would be rejected, thus helping you to become desensitized to hearing “no” as the answer. At the end of this journey, he shares some things he learned: rejection is really just someone else’s opinion, it’s also a numbers game (sometimes you just need to ask enough times to get a “yes”), and it can definitely be a source of knowledge. He also shares that instead of limiting ourselves to either “fight” or “flight”, we can instead ask “why” when we are rejected and stay engaged in the conversation instead of running away.
I was challenged to think about how I interact with others. Do I fight and argue? Shut down and run away? Or do I stay engaged, ask why, and adjust my ask? These observations can be helpful when sharing the truth of the gospel.
Fighting and arguing doesn’t change someone’s mind.
Shutting down and running away are counter productive responses.
What if we humbly ask “why” when someone is resistant to hearing about their need for grace and forgiveness? Stay engaged, humble, and respectful as we consider the response? Maybe ask for something else (like simply a consideration and open mind and heart instead of an immediate decision)?
Rejection hurts. What a comfort to know that the Lord is nigh to those who are broken hearted, and will deliver them from affliction. He sees His followers as righteous, and delivers us from our troubles when we cry out to Him. In Psalm 34:17-20, we read that our afflictions will be many, but He delivers us from them all!
Be encouraged as you face rejection. Remember that because of the grace of Jesus, you are accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6). Approaching potential rejection from a place of eternal acceptance makes all the difference!