“He is despised and rejected by men” - Isaiah 53:3a
Whether we realise it or not, all of us have experienced rejection of one kind or another. Perhaps it was failing to pass an exam, gain a university place, or be chosen for the school football, rugby, hockey, or netball team. Maybe it's more literal: being made redundant. It could even be a boyfriend or a girlfriend splitting up with you, giving little or no explanation of why. Rejection is a part of life for all of us, but there are certain types of rejection which can be seriously damaging to your health. These can really affect us very deeply, and some have terribly deep scars of rejection in their life, even right from the point of birth. Throughout their whole lives, there can be a cycle and repetition of that rejection - ultimately, to the very point of death, they can feel that they are rejected.
Let me give you some examples of how rejection commonly enters into people's lives. Often, people can experience rejection from their parents, even from the moment of birth. The most obvious example would be when children are given up for adoption (for whatever reason), or perhaps even children that are sent away to boarding school. Whether it is the intention of the parent or not, often the child can experience an inherent sense that they were rejected in some way.
A sense of rejection can also be the result of broken marriages, whether it's our parents or our own relationships. Many children receive great scars and emotional baggage in their lives because of the desertion of a father or mother, or the separation of their parents. For the person actually in the relationship, a marriage breakup where unfaithfulness has been involved can result in rejection further compounded by a sense of betrayal and broken trust.
Others have experienced rejection through prejudice. This can range from racial prejudice to religious prejudice, or the many different types of bigotry and discrimination in our world today. Another way that many of us were rejected in our childhood - or, for some in their workplace or community, even into adulthood - is through bullying. Many of us carry wounds resulting from having been bullied at some stage in our lives. Furthermore, while rejection can result from issues at birth and circumstances throughout life, it can also come and visit us at the other end of the chronological scale. Often the elderly can feel rejected right at the very end of their lives - as it were, put on the human rubbish tip of life, feeling unimportant or of no use at all.
So, the bottom line is: if you've ever felt unaccepted or unwanted, you have been rejected. You have desired, like all of us have, to belong, to fit in; but you have not been received. You have been rejected. Some people never ever face their rejection. For others, it is so deep that they think it isn't there - but yet rejection, whether unfaced or ignored, is affecting them every single day of their life. Could this be you? The fact is that rejection is one of the most common roots of many personal problems people have. Is it your problem?
Most importantly of all, rejection is one of the greatest hindrances to people experiencing God's love. For this reason, it's important, particularly if we are children of God or we want to move into relationship with God through Jesus Christ, that we deal comprehensively with it. Rejection can be a barrier to blessings, it can be an obstacle that we must break through to blessing. So, if this is your problem, it's vital that you are aware of it and that you get the cure.
If you have suffered rejection in your life, you need to understand that you may have a spiritual woundedness deep down in your true identity. The Bible has a lot to say about this. In Proverbs 18:14 we read that 'The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit'. If you're healthy inside, even when you get sick, that will sustain you - but if you're broken inside, that will affect your whole being, body, soul and spirit. Another insightful verse is Proverbs 15:13: 'A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance', it helps your face if your heart is right, 'but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken'.
You can have a broken spirit, a crushed, bruised, damaged spirit, because of rejection in your life. The wonderful good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is, He said: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me to preach good news, glad tidings, to the poor; to heal the brokenhearted'. That was the mission statement of Messiah: God anointed the Christ to come and heal the brokenhearted. This is good news, isn't it? If you are rejected and have suffered from it, and your spirit is crushed by it, Jesus is able to heal you and set you free. Psalm 147:3 tells us: 'He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds'.
For further study on these matters, see my sermon “Rescue From Rejection”, or get a copy of my book “Breaking Through Barriers To Blessing” which deals with the issue of rejection and many other hindrances we must seek to overcome...