young woman riding the bus and staring at her reflection in the window

The Complex Nature of Rejection

No one likes to be rejected, but it’s unfortunately something we all experience.

For most of us, the sting of rejection was first felt at an early age. Maybe it was when there wasn’t a seat for you at the lunch table or when you were chosen last for the team. The desire to be included was so strong, you felt more than just left out. You felt unloved. 

The pain was real then just like it’s real now. Rejection hurts no matter how old you are.

As we get older, the stakes become higher. Rejections still come our way whether it’s something seemingly small like having a text go unanswered or something life-changing like a spouse asking for a divorce.

Whether it’s big or small by the world’s standards, rejection hurts when it happens to you.

No matter how painful it is, nothing we endure can compare to the ultimate rejection, one that truly surpasses all others.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.”

ISaiah 53:5 ESV

Jesus literally gave it all when He died for us by taking our place on that cross. It was our sin that was paid for that day by His blood.

And every single day from that day on the hill of Golgotha to today, people reject His sacrifice.

This is something He knew all along. He knew He would be rejected by some. 

Yet He gave His life for us anyway.

Whenever I’m rejected by someone and they later accept me, all feelings of my unworthiness seem to go away. It shocks me how quickly I’m able to switch my focus from my hurt feelings to my newfound joy. That reconciliation smooths away all the built-up pain that rejection caused.

I wonder how it would feel to be so completely rejected only to have someone surrender and return to me. 

We read how the angels rejoice when a sinner gets saved.

“Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.””

Luke 15:10 ESV

If the angels are full of that much joy, imagine how Jesus feels when His sacrifice is accepted, when His gift of salvation is received.

I don’t like being rejected, but I can’t help but recognize how quickly I forgive the other person. I think this is because it was a relationship with them that I wanted all along.

No matter how bad you feel when are rejected by someone, your feelings turn to joy when your relationship is restored.

Because, when we admit it, the part of rejection that hurts is the distance that is created between us and the other person. Restoring that relationship makes us forget the pain that we have been carrying with us.

The heart of the salvation experience is the restoration of our relationship with God. We do this through faith in Jesus.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 ESV

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