Rejection is painful and leaves an emotional scar. We’ve all experienced it at some time, but what’s the best way to deal with it? On a recent episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast, I chatted with Jessica Van Roekel about how to overcome rejection. It was a helpful, insightful conversation that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. In this post, Jessica is sharing how to deal with rejection by asking three questions that will reframe the experience and filter it through God’s word.
Be sure to read to the end for a book giveaway!
(If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
Dealing with Rejection by Asking Three Questions
By Jessica Van Roekel
Do you ever feel like you knock on doors that don’t open or when they do, they ultimately slam shut? It can sometimes seem like dealing with rejection is something we face over and over again. We wonder why it keeps happening and how we can keep moving forward?
When we’ve been told we’re not good enough or smart enough or whatever enough (insert your area of not enough here), we can be hesitant in our relationships. Rejection acts like a three-pronged weapon that wounds our relationships with other people, our perspective regarding ourselves, and how we relate to God.
Instead of living our lives fearlessly, we go through life fearing the next time we’re dismissed and disregarded. Rejection can demoralize a person and we drift through life hoping to avoid pain. Continued rejection takes our hopes and dashes them until all that’s left are shards of painful pieces.
Reframing rejection means that we take our experience with it and filter it through God’s Word. It answers the questions of: “What does God say about himself?” “What does God say about me?” “What does God say about other people?”
What Does God Say about Himself?
When we’re dealing with rejection so that we can reframe it, we start with God. It’s tempting to start with our biases of what we think God should do and how he should or should not have allowed a particular rejection to have happened. Instead, the qualities that draw us near to God for comfort can also teach us more about him.
He is faithful. His is the kind of faithfulness that lasts. It is not fickle nor singular. He is faithful when life is good and when life shatters. He is a steady rock who we can count on. (Deuteronomy 7:9)
He is merciful. His mercies are fresh every morning. He gives us mercy to face the challenges of dealing with rejection. We can count on his mercy when our lives spin like a top from dealing with rejection. (Deuteronomy 4:31)
He is just. It’s easy to seek retaliation when we’ve been hurt by rejection. But God is just. He remembers and takes us and our offender in hand. We can trust him for vindication and validation. (Hebrews 6:10)
He is our help. Troubles come into our lives like a windstorm trying to rip the shingles off our homes. One of our first steps in dealing with rejection is to turn to God before we turn to anyone or anything else. We can take cover in the Lord because he is our refuge. (Psalm 46:1)
What Does God Say About Me?
Repeated experiences with rejection can create a disordered view of ourselves because we assess our words and actions through the rejected lens the other person used to view us. Reframing rejection means we learn to separate our worth from the experience of rejection and center it in God’s view of us.
We are chosen. God chooses us even when others don’t. His choice of us is not dependent on what other people say, but wholly on his desire to have a relationship with us. (Ephesians 1:1)
We are loved. God’s love and mercy make us alive in Jesus Christ, who gave himself up for us so that we would have the opportunity to know the deep, deep love of God, the Father. (Ephesians 2:4-5)
We belong to him. We long to belong and that’s one reason why rejection causes such deep wounds. There is so much comfort in knowing that God chooses us and calls us his special, treasured possession. (1 Peter 2:9)
We are known. Rejection can make us feel misunderstood and unknown. But God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our dreams and disappointments. He knows our joys and sorrows and he responds to us with compassion. (Jeremiah 1:5)
What Does God Say About Others?
We judge situations based on what we would or would not do. We compare our intentions with another person’s actions. We rationalize justification for slander and gossip and grudge holding. We forget that someone’s hurtful actions sometimes stem from a wounded heart, a disordered way of thinking, or lack of relationship with the Lord.
Each one has a purpose. When someone rejects us, we tend to view them through the lens of our hurt. It’s easy to forget that God loves them and has a purpose for their lives too. God can use our pain to mature us and our response to the one who hurt us impacts them as well. (Ephesians 4:16)
Show compassion. To express compassion to someone who has hurt us can feel impossible. Yet, while we were still sinners, Jesus Christ gave up his life for us. His example to us reminds us that people rejected him, yet he showed compassion. (Romans 5:8)
Bear with one another. The New Testament can be described as part handbook for how to interact and relate to one another. Bearing with one another is helpful when dealing with rejection. To bear with one another involves patience and gentleness. It allows for mistakes and growth. (Ephesians 4:2)
Do good to them. When we’ve experienced the wounds from rejection, it’s easy to desire vengeance and vindication. The greatest good we can give the one who wounded us with their rejection is forgiveness. (Galatians 6:10)
Dealing with rejection takes courage and a bit of fearlessness. It takes courage to pick up the pieces and face the risk of rejection. But when we reframe rejection through Biblical principles, we find we have courage and can walk with hope knowing that God is with us.
How have you coped with rejection? Which of these questions above have encouraged you most? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
About Jessica Van Roekel
Jessica Van Roekel is a worship leader, speaker, and writer who believes that through Jesus, personal histories don’t need to define the present or determine the future. She inspires, encourages, and equips others to look at life through the lenses of hope, trust, and God’s transforming grace. Jessica lives in rural Iowa surrounded by wide open spaces which remind her of God’s expansive love. She loves fun earrings, good coffee, and connecting with others.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Jessica is giving away a free copy of her book, Reframing Rejection: How Looking Through a Different Lens Changes Everything.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you learned about reframing rejection so you can walk in courage and hope and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of her book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, February 6, 2023. Continental United States only.