BY SARAH EDWARDS
We’ve all heard and probably quoted God’s greatest commandment, His royal law many times. OK, here we go : “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself” [Matthew 22:34-38; Romans 13:10; Leviticus 19:18].
Yet, too many people are still working at loving a God they’ve never seen, don’t know who He says He is, and have never met Him in an intimate and personal way. Don’t know who they are and can’t stand their neighbors they do see. Therefore, instead of loving God and their neighbors as themselves, they find themselves bounded up, trying to prove to God and their neighbors that they are worthy to be accepted of them.
The uncertainties and disappointments we experience throughout life solidify our fear of rejection as an issue within our relationships. The fear of rejection rides on our desire to gain approval from God and people. In return, our self-esteem is based on their opinions of us.
Church folks in particular trend to think of bigger and better “good” ideas of what can be done to get God’s approval and impress their neighbors. They forge ahead without understanding just because it’s a good idea does not make it God’s idea.
Some with this fear so huge that it stops them from being in any kind of healthy relationship all together. For others, their fear of rejection plagues them through relationships they’ve formed. This causes them to become needy, clingy and left feeling they are a disadvantaged victim. Their fear of rejection blinds their heart’s desire from seeing clearly. They must be motivated by God’s purpose, not their own [Romans 9:20].
Rejection is a principal of life. You must accept it and learn to lovingly manage it. Years ago working as a corporate account executive it was required to learn to move beyond the fear of rejection. Professional sales is a numbers game. In order to make successful sales, you have to endure so many rejections before getting the reward of closing a really good contract. The wounded self in all of us is not very lovable. No one falls in love with a wounded self, but God! God loves us so much He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to pay for all our past, present and future sins! Now, that’s love [1 John 4:10; John 3:16].
However, your wounded self is the person you created when you were growing up to protect yourself from pain the world’s system inflicted upon you. This is your ego; the part of us filled with fear, false beliefs and many ways of trying to earn love and avoid pain. This is the part of us that gives up, gets angry, start blaming, become critical, turns to various addictions, is resistant and is numbed out or simply withdrawn.
On the other hand, your core self is who you really are – who God created and He accepts you as that, not who you created if you let Him. This is your authentic self, your essence. This is the part of us that is inherently reflecting Christ through us as lovable and loving [Colossians 1:27]. Is there any wonder that everyone who reverences the LORD as their God are always glad when they see the “real you.”
Be assured that whenever a person rejects you, they’re either rejecting your wounded self or your core self. If you consistently present your real self in all your relationships, it’s very important not to take being rejected personally. Don’t worry as it is not about you at all. It’s about the other person’s fear of intimacy.
In other words, a rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in your pursuit of first just letting God love you then filling your heart with His love until it overflows. Then you can love God back with an attitude of gratitude, praise and worship. Love your neighbor and yourself. You’ll be empowered to receive what God has already prepared as your destiny.
The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful people do things unsuccessful people won’t do. They rest in God’s love and watch God work for them. Therefore, when 100 doors are slammed in your face, go to door number 101 enthusiastically with a smile on your face.