SPIRITUAL REJECTION, PART 1

INTRODUCTION

There are different types of rejection. One is personal rejection. This is where you feel like no one loves you. Everybody’s rejected you.

The rejection could come from a spouse or your parents; your siblings or classmates; your peers or coworkers; your teachers or employer; or from any number of people.

A person who’s suffering personal rejection tends to be unhappy and depressed. Friendless and socially isolated, therefore lonely. Withdrawn. Introverted. Insecure. Lacking in self-confidence, hope, or optimism. Has a hard time loving or being in a lasting romantic relationship. The lack of love, friends, and acceptance makes a rejected person bitter, angry, and resentful. Alarmingly, in more and more cases, violent.

Rejection is pandemic and rife. So many people battle it. I wish I could talk to you about personal rejection. I want to see these people get the help they need. But, alas, I’m not a trained psychologist, much less a professional one. I’m just not equipped or in a position to help you right now.

I’m a minister. And the rejection that I’d like to treat is spiritual rejection. It’s the belief or feeling that God’s rejected you. He doesn’t love you. You’re not forgiven. You’re not saved. So many of God’s people battle spiritual rejection. Believe me, as a minister, I know.

In dealing with rejection we’re also dealing with condemnation, unworthiness, and false humility. The four generally go together and work together. So when you find one of these maladies at work, chances are, you’ll find the other three close at hand. I’d like to talk to you about rejection, condemnation, unworthiness, and false humility. Because it gets rather tedious to always say rejection, condemnation, unworthiness, and false humility, I’ll use the word ‘rejection’ alone. Keep in mind, however, that when I talk about rejection I’m also talking about condemnation, unworthiness, and false humility. Let’s get started.

DEFINITION

FALSE HUMILITY.  Not wanting to be proud, people will sometimes go to the opposite extreme and adopt a wrong, false, or unscriptural, view of themselves.

For example, many Christians see themselves as sinners saved by grace. It’s true that we were all sinners before we got saved. And it’s true that we have, at times, sinned even after we were saved. But while we were sinners at one time, by God’s grace we’ve been made sons of God. John 1:12 reads, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. When we got saved we didn’t remain sinners: we became sons.

I John 3:2 goes on to say, Beloved, now are we the sons of God. What are we now or in this hour? Are we sinners? Brethren, that’s not how God sees us! He sees us as sons, not sinners!  Your false humility is a contradiction to what God has made you and called you. Closely related to false humility is unworthiness.

UNWORTHINESS.  Because a person sees himself or herself as sinful or corrupt in God’s sight they feel they’re unworthy to receive any goodness or blessings from God. They believe God’s goodness or blessing is earned. How? By being righteous and good. Therefore, since these people see themselves as sinful or woefully imperfect, they don’t believe they merit any goodness from God. Thus, people who battle unworthiness are very hesitant to pray or ask God to do anything good for them. They spend their time trying to earn God’s blessings through a life of piety and good works.

CONDEMNATION.  When a person has sinned, especially when he or she knew better, they battle condemnation. They have a hard time forgiving themselves and receiving God’s forgiveness.

Now any person is capable of battling condemnation. But those who are perfectionistic and who have high standards, morals, or expectations of themselves are especially vulnerable to condemnation.

The sin involved could be recent or it could be one that was committed many months or years ago. It could be something big or something really small.

Regardless, condemned people have a hard time believing they committed such a sin and they have a hard time believing God would forgive such a sin. As far as they’re concerned, God hasn’t forgiven them. Thus,  they don’t see themselves as being forgiven. Hence, they labor under the weight of guilt and condemnation.

REJECTION.  Rejection is the feeling or belief that you’re not loved, wanted, or accepted.

There are many reasons why a person is rejected. Some of those reasons are physical: people are rejected because they’re fat or ugly, because they’re short or have big ears or a big nose, because they’re a girl and their father wanted a boy. Others are rejected for behavioral or personality reasons: they’re dumb or hyperactive, they talk too much or aren’t interested in sports or sex.  People are rejected because of their race, skin color, or nationality: they’re black, Hispanic,  Asian, or white. Others are rejected because of their religion: they’re Jewish or Muslim, Christian or heathen. People are rejected for socio-economic reasons: they’re poor or affluent, they’re commoners or high society. There are many, many reasons for rejection and I’ve only touched on some of them.

Unfortunately, feelings of rejection don’t necessarily disappear when a person gets saved. Often times, these feelings are carried over into Christianity.

A substantial number of God’s people believe that God has rejected them. There are two underlying reasons for this rejection and the first is (1) an unscriptural view of God. People think that God must be like people. If people reject them because they’re fat or poor, then God must reject them too. In this way, MANY PEOPLE WHO SUFFER REJECTION HAVE A NOTION OF GOD THAT JUST ISN’T TRUE. Their “God” is not the God of the Bible.

This is seen in the second underlying reason for rejection, which is (2) personal inadequacy or misconduct. People think God has rejected them because they’re sinful and unworthy, they haven’t been good, they haven’t lived up to God’s demands. God, in their view, isn’t a very forgiving God. He doesn’t love or want sinners. He’s interested only in those who are good and obedient. Therefore, since they’re sinful and imperfect, God doesn’t love them. Here again, we see that PEOPLE WHO SUFFER REJECTION SUFFER FROM A WRONG VIEW OF GOD.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 2. We’ll see how rejection affects the way we live our Christian life. It may explain a few things that you haven’t been able to put your finger on. See you then.

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