Thursday, June 20, 2013

Healing Damaged Emotions – Victory Over Rejection

There is an epidemic of hurt feelings among people. It is amazing to watch a conversation where one person is talking and there are three listening. One out of the three are offended by the talker while the other two are not. How can this happen? There are a bunch of hurting people out there. Hurt people tend to hurt other people. Hurt people, those who have much bitterness, fear, and spiritual darkness inside of them, tend to read into other people's words that should have never been read into. In other words, hurt people are simply waiting to get hurt by words that were never meant to bring injury. Better said, they are itching for a fight. A hurt person filters conversations through a dark lens that cannot capture light or love. Therefore, their hurt or darkness continues to feed on itself and grow darker and colder no matter who they encounter. The answer? The light and love of Jesus Christ who has the power to send that fear, darkness, and misery straight to the bottom of hell where it came from. (copied from Facebook)

Rejection can come in many forms and from many situations.  You can be rejected:

-By a spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend - adultery, not keeping you safe, lost trust, beatings, being demeaned
-By a parent or parental figure - making fun of, being demeaned, disapproving, putting others things ahead of the child, rules without a relationship
-By classmates - being made fun of, poor, learning disability, just not smart enough, not pretty
-By Christians at church - judgmental, shunning, gossiping, slandering
-By fellow employees - misunderstandings, jealousy, dog eat dog
-By a best friend - betrayal, jealousy

Healing Damaged Emotions (Part 4) – Victory Over Rejection

Before you go any further......Watch Victory Over Rejection video.

Key Scripture: Romans 8:31-39

I. Introduction: People can live in bondage to rejection and not even know it. It causes us to believe lies about ourselves and undermines our relationships with the Lord. Even though God says He is for us and nothing can separate us from Him (Rom. 8:31-39), past experiences can make us feel differently. It’s impossible to avoid feeling rejection’s sting, so we must deal with it by acknowledging its presence, discovering its source, and letting the Lord help us overcome it.

II. The Nature of Rejection. It is a painful emotion that is created when someone refuses us, and it has many negative outcomes:

A. It creates a feeling of being excluded or unwanted. We can feel unworthy or like we don’t fit in.  

B. It is a form of control. Those who refuse to accept us can influence what we do and think.  

C. It leads to self-rejection. We become critical of ourselves and lose self-respect.  

D. It can become a syndrome. Those who have never dealt with their feelings act in ways that cause others to reject them.

III. What are the characteristics of a person suffering from rejection? People who are consciously or unconsciously enslaved by rejection will:

A. Have a critical spirit toward themselves and others. People with low self-esteem often try to bring other people down.  

B. Experience difficulty in loving others. If people don’t love themselves, they’re not equipped to love others.  

C. Have feelings of inferiority. Rejection makes people believe they never fit in or measure up.  

D. Be overly attentive to appearance. Hurting people try to dress in ways that will help them feel accepted.  

E. Be prone to perfectionism. To avoid failure, some people won’t try tasks they cannot do perfectly. This also leads to procrastination.

F. Live in a state of floating anger. An attitude of anger permeates their lives and leads them to find fault with others.

G. Display an attitude of superiority. An arrogant demeanor is really just a cover-up for feelings of inferiority.

H. Be overly sensitive. Those who struggle with feelings of rejection are easily hurt and prone to misinterpreting comments as being unkind.

I. Resist being loved. People who don’t feel worthy have difficulty accepting affection.

J. Be suspicious. Some people become suspicious of anyone who tries to befriend them because they believe there must be an ulterior motive.

K. Become aloof. To avoid rejection, some people become loners.

L. Fall into depression. When people feel unworthy, they naturally are sad and discouraged.

M. Be cheated out of life. People who can’t overcome the emotional effects of rejection miss God’s best blessings.

N. Have a materialistic focus. To feel wanted, some people gather possessions only to find they never satisfy.

O. Miss God’s plan for their lives. Feelings of rejection cheat people of all the Lord wants to do in and through them.

P. Adopt sinful practices. When people can’t accept themselves, they sometimes turn to drugs, drinking, or sex in a search of relief.

IV. Reasons for Feeling Rejected. The underlying cause of this painful emotion is a person’s opinion of himself, which is brought about by hurtful experiences such as:

A. Physical defects. Not liking how he looks can make a person feel undesirable or unlovable.

B. Past emotional hurts. When a person is hurt, the damaging effects always linger.

C. The death of a loved one. Some people interpret loss as rejection because they feel alone. In their eyes, God has turned His back on them.

D. Divorce. This is a very painful experience because both spouses and children are affected and are left feeling discarded.

E. Childhood experiences. Words of criticism and rejection stick in a child’s memory and shape his view of himself. He will spend a lifetime trying to validate his worth.

V. How can we overcome feelings of rejection? These negative feelings must be dealt with if we are to be truly complete. There are three essential elements that comprise a healthy attitude, and the Lord supplies them all. Through Him, we gain:

A. A sense of belonging. Those who are a part of the body of Christ belong to God’s family (Rom. 8:16). Once we fix this truth in our hearts, we’ll feel secure no matter what.

B. A feeling of worthiness. Jesus considered us so valuable that He was willing to die in our place (John 3:16).

C. A sense of competence. When we accepted Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit came to live inside us. One of His jobs is to enable us to accomplish whatever God calls us to do (Phil. 4:13).

VI. Conclusion: There is no need to go through life handicapped by past experiences. The first step to gaining victory over rejection comes when you choose to believe the Lord and find your acceptance in Him. Begin by asking the Lord’s forgiveness for allowing hurtful emotions to hinder you. The next step is to deal with your offenses toward others and ask for their forgiveness because true healing demands that you address both sides of rejection. After that, it all boils down to a choice between believing what God says or what others say about you. 

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