Rejection Must Fall
by Louie Giglio, from Goliath Must Fall
No amount of money or looks or success can insulate you from the possibility of rejection. Rejection comes after all of us in differing ways.
Some of us have incredible potential, but we don’t want to try anything bold because we don’t want to fail.
The easy choice: live in the relative safety of mediocrity because we think that’s better than rejection.
At the other end of the spectrum are the people who are determined to win at everything, to prove to somebody that they are good enough, beautiful enough, worthy enough, wanted enough. They won’t rest until they are the first in the class, the head of the organization, the most respected person in the group. But they’re never happy because they’re building up their self-worth based on their accomplishments. They don’t know what they’re going to do when their accomplishments aren’t good enough anymore. It’s the same giant of rejection.
Some of the most beautiful people in our culture are the most insecure. Some get judged by others because they look too beautiful. Others, despite their appearance, never felt worth much inside. I remember seeing this back in the days when Shelley and I led a campus ministry at Baylor. Some of the girls that looked like they had it all together would meet with Shelley and me after coming to our Bible study. They’d say things like, “I’m really struggling. Can you help? I have an eating disorder. I have an image problem. I am struggling with my self-worth and my value. I don’t like the way I look.”
You can find models who are the saddest people on the planet because of the giant of rejection. And it’s not just models either. It’s people at the top of every category. You find great athletes who feel insecure because they know they’re only one injury away from losing their position on the team or their income stream. You find incredibly smart people who are insecure because they feel like people only like them for what they know. You find competent and capable people who feel like they’ve got an image to keep up. Or an image to try to create.
And the fear of rejection can lead you to some troubling places. Psychologists tell us that one of the most powerful forces in humanity is acceptance. It’s what we all crave. That’s why some of you have friends who are not good for you, but you hang around with them anyway. Because they accept you. They’re not encouraging you to be all God wants you to be. They don’t have the same value systems you have. But they accept you, and that’s a powerful pull in your life. Some of you are dating somebody and you know they are not the right person for you. But the sense of acceptance this person is giving you is overwhelming your sense of what’s best for you. That’s how strong acceptance is. But is this true acceptance?
Of course not.
David pressed through the rejection he felt to go on and accomplish the purposes of God for his life. He arrived at the battle from a place of trueacceptance. And this is God’s invitation to us as well — to cloak ourselves in the true acceptance that Christ offers. Whether it’s school or work or with our peers or family, we potentially face rejection every day. The only thing that will help us move past the giant of rejection is to immerse ourselves in the acceptance of Christ. We need to arrive at the battle already feeling accepted.
So how do we develop this confidence in his acceptance? We do it by embracing these four big principles.
1. We understand the miracle of our creation.
We clothe ourselves in acceptance when we understand we are the work of God. David knew that about himself. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, David wrote Psalm 139. It’s a beautiful psalm that helps order our lives day by day. Right in the middle of it, David declares,
For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. — Psalm 139:13-14
That’s a mouthful of giant-slaying truth right there.
We are each reverently and wonderfully made. God doesn’t make mistakes.
God doesn’t make rejects — that comes from assembly-line lingo. When a reject comes down the line, a worker says, “That one’s perfect. That one’s perfect. That one’s wrong. Oh no, not that one. Either throw it back and start over again or discard it.” God doesn’t do that.
David affirms this. Later in the same psalm he declares,
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. — Psalm 139:14-16
The giant of rejection does not want you to remember the miracle of your creation. For this giant to fall, for this giant to be rendered powerless in your life, immerse yourself in this fact:
God made you. Uniquely. Beautifully. Intentionally. Purposefully. Wonderfully.
2. We revel in the mystery that Jesus chose us.
How do we develop true acceptance? We clothe ourselves in Christ’s acceptance when we revel in the mystery of His choosing. Ephesians 1 tells us how we got into the family of God. Beginning in verse 4, it says,
For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will — to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. — Ephesians 1:4-6
That means from the very beginning of time, God chose you. Long before you knew Him, He knew you. He loved you long before the world began. Before you ever felt the sting of rejection, God had already gone on record as choosing you.
Before people decided whether or not you are good enough for them, God had already decided that He wanted to bring you into his family as a son or a daughter of almighty God.
Can you imagine that? If you are adopted, you may have struggled to some degree about your value or worth. And that’s understandable. But the decision of an earthly parent cannot trump the choice God made when He fostered your creation in your mother’s womb. Like the psalmist you can say,
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.— Psalm 27:10 NLT
If this is you, it might feel like your father and mother left you at the adoption agency and that is what defines you. But your heavenly Father had already picked you up before they ever dropped you off. Your heavenly Father said, “I choose you. I want you in My forever family — you are My daughter; you are My son. I give you a name — My name. I give you a place with Me — and it’s a place of love and abundance. I give you My inheritance, and My riches are limitless.”
Before you were conceived, God went on record in the heavenlies and said, “I choose you as My own.” That truth cultivates in us a sense of huge acceptance.
Hopefully, you have come to the place in life where you have chosen Him too.
Yet Jesus chose us first (see John 15:16). Let those words sink in. Jesus chose us. Jesus chose you.
3. We grasp how costly it was for Jesus to rescue us.
How do we develop true acceptance? We clothe ourselves in Christ’s acceptance when we see the enormous cost God paid when He sent His Son to rescue us. It goes on to say in Ephesians 1:7-8,
In [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us.
The gospel isn’t just a church talk. It’s not just a good sermon. It tells every human what we need to know in the deepest part of our souls — that we have enormous worth to God. Faced with life without us, His choice was to allow His Son to die for us.
That’s how He recovered us and rescued us. God paid an enormous price for you.
You are worth Jesus to God.
4. We live from acceptance, not for it.
Our giant of rejection is not going to fall until we admit that we desperately need acceptance. If you’re too proud to say that, you most likely have some demons in your past that still might be lurking in the shadows. We were made to be accepted and embraced by our heavenly Father. We were made to be loved, for free.
The good news is that in Christ, we have everything we long for. Everything we need. We are not working to gain His acceptance. We already have it.
We live from His acceptance, not for the acceptance of others. Sure, we want to be loved and liked by others. And we want to love in a way that will allow us to hear from Heaven, “well done.” But we live as though we know we are already fully loved and accepted in Him.