All of this talk about friendships and relationships has got me thinking. And then THIS BLOG POST showed up in my inbox talking about rejection. Relationships can be an incredible source of joy in our lives but they can also be a deep source of pain. What are we to do when we feel rejected? How much can a relationship with another person really fill us?
Keeping some perspective with regards to how we see ourselves and relate to others will help us when we feel rejected or other challenges pop up in relationships. This isn’t meant to solve all of our relational problems or guarantee success all of the time but it just may help navigate the everyday hurts that come up as we do life alongside other people.
A few thoughts on keeping a healthy perspective in relationships:
#1 – Know where your worth and value are derived from. Don’t fall into the mistaken belief that you are valuable and worthy only if a certain someone loves you or you have gobs of friends. When you are solid about your worth, who you are and whose you are it helps diminish the sting of a failed attempt at friendship or hurtful word that comes your way.
TRUTH – Your worth and value come from God. You were created by the King of the Universe, the creator of ALL things who holds them all in His hand and you were made in His image. NO ONE can take that away from you; neither can they add to it.
Psalm 139: 13-14
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful I know that full well.
#2 – There is no person on the planet that “completes you”. This makes for great movie lines but it’s just not true. If we are waiting for just the right person to come along or a friend who is just like us; loves all of the same things we do, then we may spend more time alone than we want. We may also reject those that God has brought into our lives because they don’t fit exactly as we think they should.
TRUTH – There is a God sized hole in your heart. He alone can complete and fill you. Your weaknesses were designed to point out your need for Him and draw you into deeper relationship with Him. You may find someone who compliments you…whose gifts and talents fill in where yours are weak and vice versa…who you enjoy spending time with…whose presence delights you…who you have much in common with…but only God can truly fill the void in your heart.
#3 – Understand that everyone makes mistakes. Even the most well intentioned friend or spouse is going to mess up. You WILL get your feelings hurt, feel rejected and unloved. The part that scares me most is knowing that even though I may try my hardest, I will let others down also.
TRUTH – If you want to lean on someone who cannot let you down, then go to God. He cannot be shaken, He does not make mistakes and He is completely trustworthy.
Psalm 146: 3-5
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed is he whose hope is the God of Jacob, whose hope is the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them – the Lord remains faithful forever.
A very popular way to deal with rejection is to protect ourselves and hide our hearts from others. If we risk nothing in relationships then we feel that we’ll be safe from the hurt. It’s another lie we must fight. A full and abundant life is one lived out on a limb. We must choose to risk in some areas of life to learn, love or gain anything. The best way to deal with rejection or potential hurts is not to guard our hearts but to put them in the hands of a capable Savior. The One who will fill us with truth and comfort us when life inevitably hurts. Let’s endeavor to love others AND our selves well…with tenderness…in humility and truth…through the power of the One whose heart laid it ALL out to save us. YOU and I are BELOVED. It’s hard to feel rejected when we live in that truth.
“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen
How do you deal with rejection? Do you avoid the risk all together? Do you jump in with two feet?