My friend and I sat at the kitchen table and chatted about the past. “He was really hurt,” she said, “took him a long time to overcome the rejection.”
Guilt came over me. I had dated her brother and ended the relationship in an insensitive and abrupt way. I fidgeted in my seat and gave a forced smile. “I was a foolish teenager,” I said, “my values were all messed up and I was a bundle of immature emotions.”
A lame excuse, yet even at 16-years-old, I must have caused her brother hurt, wounds and the pain of rejection.
Years later those same emotions slammed into my own life. And as this young boyfriend, I had to overcome rejection. I needed to move beyond it in order to rebuild confidence.
And on the journey, I gathered a bit of wise boldness. I found three important secrets to live, to thrive and dance as we learn to overcome rejection.
- Recognize the rejection as a redirection for God’s plans to be fulfilled. In my own experience as an author, similar to other authors, I can meet painful rejections. Painful because we put all our expectations on receiving an enthusiastic acceptance. But no man’s rejection is a match for God’s redirection.
- Remember each rejection is a stepping stone to building strength, perseverance and character. And when success comes, we’re equipped to relish in triumph.
- Resolve to put emotions in their place. Negative emotions are the enemy’s weapons to weaken us, discourage and defeat us.
And that is how Joshua might have felt as he faced a new position of leadership. Possible discouragement, fear, defeat and rejection awaited him. But God said to him the same He says to us today: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 ).
Father, if you’re with me, what rejection should I fear? When you command me to be courageous, I know you will provide the strength; you will guide the way, and bring opportunities that will shine in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
- What rejection has darkened your days lately?
- Which of God’s promises speaks to you?
- What truths do you store in your heart as you try to overcome rejection?
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