Sometimes it feels like someone is trying to break down everything that makes you who you are and everything you have tried to build. Some days the rejection is so fierce that it feels like an all-consuming fire that you can’t fight. You just want to crawl in a hole and hide, licking your wounds like a hurting animal. What do you do when you are mistreated and rejected?
First, understand that it’s normal. Jesus promises it, in fact (Mt 5:10-11). We will be rejected and beat up in this life, even when we are pursuing Him and doing what He’s asked us to do. You will also be misunderstood, misinterpreted, and probably injured through the words of a rejecting person. God isn’t surprised by this, and He isn’t taken off guard.
Second, focus on the truth. Remember who you are in Christ. Soak in His Abba love for you (Rom 8:35-39). People do not define you, and you can’t put them in a place where you believe how they do. Go back to the Jesus and ask Him for the truth—ask Him what is true about you.
Third, as you grieve the hurt, move into joy and thank God for His many gifts that surround you right now. You may think you don’t have any—I would respectfully disagree. I talked to a sweet man yesterday who said we should thank God for toilet paper because, seriously, where would we be without it?? Thank Him for His love, for His kindness, for His grace. Thank Him for the people in your life who are supporting you right now. Thank Him for the place you lay your head at night, for the food on your table (even if it’s Ramen!) and the beauty of the sunrise this morning. It is hard to obsess on someone’s rejection when you are face-to-face with the amazing gifts from your heavenly Father (Phil 4:6-7).
And fourth, let God forgive them through you. No, they don’t deserve it (but neither do you deserve forgiveness most of the time!) and no, they haven’t asked for it. But this forgiveness and letting go frees you from the control of their actions. You are able to move forward without writing these words a blank check to dictate the rest of your life. It may feel like you can’t forgive yet, and that’s ok. Keep coming back to Jesus and He will be enough for that through you. He is the only way we have the power to do impossible things like forgive an enemy who has hurt you (Phil 4:13). You don’t even need to tell the offender about the forgiveness because, again, it’s for you!
Now, let’s get on to the adventure God has for us today, not allowing the words of yesterday to bind us up. Let’s put our eyes on Jesus and allow His Life within to be all that we need for the day. And when your wounds ache again, let Him be the balm of healing for you as you rest in His amazing love.