Don’t take it personal- It’s not about you. It’s their loss! They just don’t know what they’re missing!
These phrases are usually said in response to some form of rejection. That word is so AWFUL and can bring up some painful memories.
Handling rejection was a big challenge while facing the dating scene of my 20s (ok, who am I kidding- I’m in my mid-30s and I still struggle with rejection).
When I hear the word “rejection,” a couple guys I previously dated come to mind. We’d gone
on a few dates. We texted and talked on the phone, and I thought things were going great.
And then… Nothing…
They seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth. Texts stopped. Phone calls stopped. I never heard from them again.
So I am left with my gardening gloves and shears, doing my best to kill the mind weed of rejection. I try to figure out why he never called back (because I have too much pride to find out why). Was I too needy? Was I too independent?
Not only am I fighting with this rejection mind weed, but now I have to announce the rejection because people are asking how things were going. It’s over, he just stopped all contact! I remember one time my Aunt Jane jokingly said, “You haven’t heard from him? Did you check the obituaries?”
But rejection doesn’t just happen in the world of dating. People face rejection all the time:
- You interviewed for a job but didn’t get it- rejection
- Nobody commented or “liked” your Facebook post- rejection
- You made sales calls but potential customers didn’t buy- rejection
- You found out that two of your friends had dinner, but you weren’t invited-rejection
So what is behind rejection?
It goes back to the bible verse from last week:
The fear of human opinion disables, trusting in God protects you from that.- Proverbs 29:25
Where there is rejection, following right behind is it’s annoying little brother, “the fear of human opinion.”
Our self worth can be sinfully wrapped up in the opinions of others, and as a result of rejection we become “disabled.” It does a number on your mind garden.
But if that’s not bad enough, we fear human opinion when we have to admit what we consider our “failures.” We are so consumed with what people will think or say when they find out our truths. Why? We fear their judgment, criticism, and condemnation.
What will people say if they find out I’m getting a divorce?
What will people think when they find out my daughter isn’t going to college?
No way am I going to my high school reunion. I’m thirty pounds heavier!
What is the solution?
The solution is found in the second half of the bible verse:
…Trusting in God protects you from that.
It is so easy to slip into the ruts of this world, and a sure sign that I’ve slipped away from God and into those ruts is when I let the fear of human opinion disable me.
When I become aware of the mind weeds that result from rejection, I realize I’ve put my value and my self-worth in the opinions of others. And all that does is lead to heartache and disappointment.
So what do I do?
1. Remind myself whose opinion matters most!
It’s not the opinion of my parents, friends, people on Facebook, family, or neighbors that matter.
Whose opinion DOES matter most? Jesus Christ my Savior! It is his opinion and his alone that I need to focus on. And what is his opinion of me? It’s the same opinion he has of YOU.
You and I are so completely and unconditionally loved by Jesus. He died on the cross for our sins, for our failures, for our wrongdoings. My value and my worth and my security is in his love for me.
The one who loves us gives us an overwhelming victory in all these difficulties.- Romans 8:37
The LORD appeared to me in a faraway place and said, ‘I love you with an everlasting love, so I will continue to show you my kindness.’- Jeremiah 31:3
2. Trust in God and trust in his will.
If a relationship ended, if I didn’t get the job I wanted, or if I failed at something I tried, I remind myself that God is absolutely aware of what is happening in my life. I trust that out of my “perceived” rejection, God has something even more fabulous and more perfect for me that I cannot even imagine.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.- 1 Corinthians 2:9
3. Seek comfort in God’s word.
In those moments when I really feel disabled by what other people think, it is when I run to God. He pulls me to him and I find comfort in his word and promises. I listen to what he tells me in the songs I sing in church or in the scripture readings. One of my favorite verses:
God heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds.- Psalm 147:3
The deeper connection and the deeper relationship you have with your heavenly father is your protection from human opinion. When God is at the center of your heart and mind, you no longer become disabled.