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Responding to Rejection


By Charles F. Stanley

How are you to respond when you experience times of rejection? Should you curl up in a dark corner and engage in self-pity? Will you withdraw from life completely and disown the people who love and accept you? No!

You are to do three specific things when you feel an intense need to belong.

1. Believe what God says about you.

Through the years, I have had a number of divorced or widowed people say to me, “I feel like a nobody.” My response to them is, “That’s not what God says about you.”

God says you are a somebody. You are so special and valuable to Him that He sent His Son to die for your sins, and He made it possible for the Holy Spirit to come and dwell within you. He did that to remind you on a daily basis that you are valuable beyond measure in His eyes.

“But I feel so all alone in the world,” someone might say.

You aren’t alone, because God is with you. He has promised to stay right by your side, regardless of what happens to you. Even if everybody you know has rejected you, God will not leave you. Be assured that you are forgiven and a full-fledged member of God’s family. In Christ, we are His children, never to be denied, rejected, or turned away from His presence.

2. Seek God’s acceptance first.

Divorce is devastating because it destroys a person’s sense of belonging. It creates an even greater need to belong, a need that isn’t felt as keenly or as deeply when a person is happily married.

A woman whose husband had recently divorced her confessed to me, “I don’t feel as if I belong anyplace anymore. My life has been ripped apart. What can I do?”

“Go to Christ,” I said. “Trust the Lord to be the One who provides for you. He alone can give you identity and supply comfort in your loneliness. Do everything obediently in service to Him, trusting Him to direct your path. Know that He will shelter you from evil, uphold you, and provide daily guidance. Depend on Him with your entire being, and surrender completely to His will.”

Is God’s acceptance of you more important than acceptance by other people? You have been given the ability and prerogative to ignore God, continue on your own way, and rebel against His desire enjoy a growing relationship with you. But why not spend time in His Word to see the deep, unconditional love He has for you? Why not give in and yield to His compassionate, fatherly embrace?

3. Recognize that God will never reject you.

Perhaps you are afraid that you might one day lose God’s acceptance and love. Nothing, my friend—absolutely nothing—can destroy your standing in Christ or diminish the love He extends to you. Not now, not ever.

When my grandson was very young, the first thing he would do when he came to my house was demand to sit on my lap. He had a sense—rightly so—that there was no other person I would rather have been with in that moment.

Friend, that’s the way God feels about you and me. He delights in being with us. He holds us tenderly. And there is no other person in the world He would rather be with. The amazing truth about our infinite God is that He is capable of expressing to us all His love and attention. In our finite minds, we can not grasp that. But in God’s great and infinite love, He can completely meet my need for belonging, just as surely as He can fully meet yours.

When you feel as if you don’t belong, come to God with a desire to sit for a while in His presence. Come with a willingness to be held, like a child, in His everlasting arms. Allow yourself to relax. You are 100 percent welcome there. The Father longs for you to be with Him.

Adapted from “Our Unmet Needs” by Charles F. Stanley, 1999, pp.197-203.

 

Related Resources

Related Video

Victory Over Rejection

Many people live in bondage to feelings of rejection and don't even realize it. It causes us to believe lies about ourselves and project hurtful emotions on others. It also undermines our relationships with God. Dr. Stanley describes the nature of rejection and shares a number of characteristics of a person who feels rejected. (Watch Victory Over Rejection.)

Copyright 2014 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

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  • March 14, 2013 04:51 PM

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    I feel worthless to my family. I have been rejected by my parents and my brother since I was 10 yrs. old (50 now). All of this happened because I have epilepsy and my family didn't like it. AIl I've lived with is hatred and no love from my family no matter how hard I try to make them happy. My Grandmother led to the Lord and taught me about God and becoming a saved born again Christian when I was young. I was saved and I read the Bible daily.
    As for the rest of my family they still have nothing to do with me. I haven't seen my father in 7 yrs., My brother has never been over to visit me in almost 27 yrs. and the only time I ever see my mom is when I meet her to go shopping or go out to lunch and then I pay her to bring me home.
    What bothers me a lot is how she will do many things with my brother and his family but walks away from me. I praise God that He is in my life and is there for me. God Bless All of You!
  • March 12, 2013 04:57 AM

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    lam broken and feel like no one in my family cares about me. i feel so alone and feel like a disapointment to them. i feel like i should be treated better than how my mum and family does. am so broken and tired, confused! am all alone.......
  • March 11, 2013 12:59 PM

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    For many years I felt rejected from my mother, sisters and brothers. Now that I'm a adult and I know about God's love and accepts me with his open arms. Thank you Lord!
  • March 11, 2013 09:34 AM

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    yes ,,very true..how many times it was happened to me.. but God never forsake me...i always rely on Gods Promise...just like the footprints in the sand..yes its true that humans passion is to hurt the fellings of anybody...disappoint aand even put you to death.....bUT IN THE LORDS PRESENCE,, YOU WILL FIND REFUGE,,,
  • March 11, 2013 01:28 AM

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    just what i needed to hear at this time in my life, thank you sir.
  • March 10, 2013 10:59 PM

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    Thank you fpr repeating this sermon. I wasn't ready to receive much of its message until now. Its significance for me this Lenten season is great and meaningful. I'm very grateful for Dr. Stanley's insight, wisdom, and experience personally and in ministry, as reflected in these words. God bless you for being an excellent resource in my walk with God. Would you believe I'm 70 this year and still struggling with rejection? But, I'm ready for the healing and transformation. This sermon is God's gift at the right moment for me about my rejection, due in large part because of a mother's emotional neglect of me as a child. She was a good Christian mother otherwise, a role model of Christ-likeness. She just missed my heart and emotional needs. Again, I bless You for this help and healing.
  • March 10, 2013 07:35 PM

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    i am a 52 year old woman, that has never felt i belonged here, i lost my father at the age of 5 and then my mom gave birth to twin girls to a commonlaw husband that did not stay around, and she spent alot of attention on them, i was sexually molested between the ages of 7 to 10, moved to my mom's home town, where then i was harrassed as the shy new kid at the school, and things not good with my mom, but she never talked or asked about my life, and then i left home at 15 to meet a guy that i had two kids with .... only to be a housekeeper and my needs ignored, left when children where young, and then commence to deal with abusive and aggressive dealings with the dad!! physical abuse that made me learn a nasty way to deal with life, i became aggressive and angry...i have not made any thing out of myself or my life, at this time i live alone and i gave my life to god.. but, i feel that things are taken and i am willing to give up things that have made my life better, but now i deal with a great deal of anger and frustration...for i just feel that i will never achieve the life i dreamed of as a y oung woman... i keep to myself out of frustration and hopeless. i just feel that it seems that whatever i start falls apart, and i don't trust my heart in relationships anymore, cause i question what my worth is. and i know it has to do with the rejections i have dealt with as a young child. i so want to know the abundant life God promises... but, i question if its meant for me! so i reject people so i don't get hurt and i don't have to show them that i am unworthy... i have some bad thinking happening i know...amen
  • March 10, 2013 06:02 PM

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    Brilliant...insightful and profoundly correct...
  • March 10, 2013 02:37 PM

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    Rejecrion of those that have been adopted in life. Do we feel hidden rejection that we were given up by our birth Mothers?Biological bith of a child and then adoption is of the heart. Thank you. AW
  • March 10, 2013 01:13 PM

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    I find that Dr. Stanley's sermons about healing damaged emotions are excellent and well-done. I have appreciated his honesty about those difficulties that he has faced and I mostly appreciate the timeliness of these topics for my current life situation. I think that it is critical for Christians to understand that one cannot have spiritual healing and a clear, solid relationship with Jesus without working through one's psychological wounds and trauma; there cannot be congruence in the self/soul without working on one's spiritual and psychological self at the same time as one does impact the other. I know. I have been there several times and I am dealing with it again. Thank you, Dr. Stanley.
  • March 10, 2013 12:04 PM

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    Hello Dr Charles Stanley. Your sermon touched me today. My parents had me when they were older and all ready had 3 boys. I'm the youngest and the only girl. My parents came from that era of not showing your emotions or feelings to their children. I was never hugged or told that they love me, or that they were proud of me. I was always called names and picked on either at school or at home. My grandmother called me fatty boom boom or old maid since I never married. I never felt like I fit in anywhere. The only one who thought I was special and that he loved me was the middle brother.
    Then the middle brother committed suicide in 1992 and my world came to an end as I knew it. I was lost and didn't know who to turn to. I always thought it should of been me because my brother had a family and no one would miss me. He was the special one, he was smart and brought joy to everyone he met. He could talk to anyone and really listen to what they said and cared for them. I am not close to my other brothers nor my mom, I am the odd ball in the family because I'm educated. For awhile I was mad at God for taking my special brother away from me and I was mad him for doing that to the family.
    I guess I just want to thank you for your sermon today about feeling rejected because I have. I guess it's a part of growing up and realizing you are special within and God loves me.
  • March 10, 2013 10:58 AM

    by

    Every Sunday I am inspired by Dr. Stanley's sermons but this one I am going to cherish. I was born a girl which was not supposed to happen. My Dad wanted a boy so I was called Jake, Jake, the big mistake all my life. My Dad was an elder of the church but also an alcoholic. My Mom was a co-dependent so I could never live up to her expectations. I mover 3500 miles away to get away from that rejection. Unfortunately, I married my Mother and was never able to live up to his expectations either. He divorced me after 20 years of marriage. So yes, I am a Christian but I isolate myself, have no grace for anyone else. I am a teacher in a Christian school but have no life outside the school. God is working on me, though, after 62 years He is working on my heart to let me know how much He loves me! Hallelujah!
  • March 10, 2013 10:55 AM

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    When I read your I FELL LIKE NOBODY I too did exactly THAT. I felt at times the Lord has more important things to take care of then me (I'm 62). But something wonderful happened, I was watching a nature show one day on birds, and I wondered how they new their own chicks to feed them, as I went to pray the next morning, HE showed me know matter where I was He knew my voice and even my name!And the next morning I received your Daily Read and on the front page where nesting birds, what a wonderful Saivour and Father! And to let anyone know,He will never leave us nor forsake us, only trust and obey and rely on the Lord in ALL THINGS nor matter your age or problem. Lori Giesbrecht...
  • March 10, 2013 10:22 AM

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    I had been praying recently, "LORD, Enable me to feel loved so that I am enabled to honestly love without reservations or fear." Thhis message is a part of His answer to me. Praise Him!
  • March 10, 2013 10:15 AM

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    Thank you for your always true words. I felt very rejected when my mother a chistian took her own life, a long time ago.
    Now I don't have to feel that anymore, because God has promised to never leave me. Thank you Lord Jesus!
  • March 10, 2013 09:29 AM

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    This message was aimed right at me! I am a child of rejection as my father did not want me when I was born. He did not show me love and compassion all my life. To him I was a dummy and couldn't do anything right. Because I was not shown any love, I made so many mistakes in my life. To add to all that, my husband walked out on me due to the circumstances that come from being rejected. Also, as was discussed on TV, I rejected one of my own children as a baby and our relationship isn't the best today. I'm still having a lot of situations and problems with inferiority and wanting to be able to be somebody and great at doing something. I know God has blessed and watched over me since my divorce. It's terribly hard not to have my husband as I grow older as it's nice to have affection in human form. Dr. Stanley's message on Saturday night was given for me!!!!!
  • March 10, 2013 07:23 AM

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    While this is all so very true, there is no avoiding some level of the phases of human grief we go through after a loved one's death, divorce or rejection from a potential mate or a friend rejecting us. Walking with Christ and trusted believers through the process of grief may be necessary before working biblically through the rejection. A Christian friend and I have given each other permission to ask the other who has come seeking prayer and friendship during a struggle "what form of suffering are you going through now that is an identification with how Christ suffered on your behalf for your sins?" Rejection is surely one form of suffering Christ endured on our behalf, and in what is one of the most emotionally painful experiences a human can have, we can turn our hearts toward gratitude to Jesus for going through rejection he didn't deserve for us.
  • March 10, 2013 06:36 AM

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    i myself have gone threw this feeling abandon and lonely and regection but i know god loves me he loves me for who i am now i know just take it too the loard in prayer and he will give me guidince and the strengh too move on.
  • March 09, 2013 11:06 PM

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    I never touched either one of my sbylings or done anythng to hurt them in any way. I would talk to them and tell them What they were doing was wrong. I am now 77 years old and only one brother and one sister stays in contact with me. I could not understand why. This message has helped me see and undstand what happened in our growing up years. My oldest Brother (next to me) had ask me if I could not fix our family. I do not carry ager or regrert or any of those feelings concerning my family. I just did not usnderstand what the promblem was. Now I know. I now know only the Lord can deal with each of our hearts and heal out family. Thank you Dr. Stanley for the teaching of your word and for your Godly wisdom. Loretta Lee
  • March 09, 2013 08:24 AM

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    Beautiful, powerful messages. Thank you, Pastor Stanley for helping us increase the strength of our connection with the Holy Spirit day by day.
  • May 23, 2012 06:56 PM

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    This is the answers I have been looking for, for over 60 years. Thank you so much for the opportunity to see it here.

    Priscilla Brown
  • May 23, 2012 02:40 PM

    by

    Thank you so very much for the message for all the persons who feel rejected in life,and are lonely .I pray that our good God reveal his unconditional love and give them the grace to experience it in their life and comfort,protect and fill in their loneliness all of their days of their life.
  • May 23, 2012 08:28 AM

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    Thank you Dr. Stanley again for inspiring me to turn to my God who will never leave me or forsake me!
  • May 22, 2012 04:59 PM

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    Even though am aware of the differences between human reality, and God's reality--or TRUTH,--and am fully aware that our happiness is almost entirely dependent on the manner one person treats another,--never before did I entertain the impact rejection can have. Personal reflection after your words has awakened something deep down inside. Your explanation of cause and effect is especially true in my case. To the point of an almost unconscious inability to believe God would love me as He loves others.

    I have been listening to you for several months. Your words have always had an impact,--but this really hit home. May all recognize when the apostles promoted KINDNESS---it was to move us toward compliance with 'nature and nature's God';--toward ending inhibitions to personal growth and harmony.

    As for me,--I'm going to try to begin removing the human mask from God,---the idea God would reject me,--that I am not worthy.
  • May 22, 2012 12:54 PM

    by

    dr. stanley is truly god send he has helped me so much in my understanding of how god wants to love me and wants me to love him whole and have a relationship with him, after suffering tragedies for many years nothing prepared me for the one i went through last year, i know god came to me right away and has been here to help me since because without that and the wonderful god send god obeying christians he has sent my way i WOULD NOT be here either, so thank you and our wonderful father in heaven... god bless

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