If God is for us, who can be against us –Romans 8:31
I love summer! A time when we can be with family and friends; creating memories and strengthening relationships. A basic need that God has placed inside each and every one of us; a need that cries out to be met; just like eating, sleeping and working.
But what if we have experienced rejection somewhere in our lives? Does it affect our personal relationships? Maybe a parent abandoned us somehow or placed us up for adoption. Was there a time when we felt unwanted because we were a boy instead of a girl? Did the peer rejection at school or work leave you feeling as though you did not belong? Was love withheld from you as you experienced abuse sexually, physically or verbally? Did betrayal destroy your value, as your spouse was unfaithful in your marriage that led to a divorce? These are deep roots of rejection that force us to look for things to fulfill our void and sometimes we place unfair demands on our friends and loved ones. Rejection hurts and is painful. We grieve that loss but at the same time we have learned to set up defenses to ward off possible future hurts.
Most of us want to use our controlling defense, but the outcome is that it causes us to live in fear, and sometimes, retreat and isolate from others. Why? If I get too close, I might hurt them more. It’s a constant striving for acceptance to the point of becoming a people pleaser, a false identity of who we really are. We begin to focus on no one but ourselves and we respond in anger as rebellion rears its ugly head. We are immersed with self-pity and cease to care.
I discovered in my own life that Jesus understands how we feel. He experienced rejection throughout His ministry. His purpose was misunderstood and He did not meet the expectations of the ruling Jewish community. Even His own family did not recognize the calling on His life. He faced rejection on all sides, in almost everything he did. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering.” (Isaiah 53:3)
For our healing and restoration we need to reprogram our minds away from the false belief that we are unlovable. Instead of using control as our defence we can choose a Godly defence that reminds us that our Saviour will never abandon us: He loves us and accepts us unconditionally. We will never find the approval we long for from mankind and while we are here on this earth, rejection is inevitable. John 15:18 says, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”
The most important relationship we can work on, is our relationship with God. Surrender your whole self, wounds and all. His grace will give you the ability to find healing and restoration. He will set you free from the devastating words or actions that robbed you of knowing His love. We are reminded that we must “bear with each other and forgive one another; if any of you has a grievance against someone, forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13).
Today, try to make a decision to surround yourself in healthy relationships that build you up in Christ and let the joy of the Lord be your strength. And always remember that if God is for us, who can be against us? Have a blessed day!