“The good life is a process, not a state of being” Carl Rogers
Share this story with me please, I met a young Christian girl whom we will call Philomena (not her real name) who came to me for counselling reluctant but encouraged by her friend. Her story begins with the fact that her father had always wanted a male child so that when she was born, he rejected her and told her “I don’t want you” this made her try to do well in school excel in anything she was asked to do only to hear again and again “you are useless” “I don’t want you” “you are a mistake” then as a young girl she was teased by class mates because of her physique particularly as a teen when her self-image was being formed. Since her father couldn’t be bothered to build self-confidence insisting that she was unwanted, she followed the wrong gang influenced by her peers and the result was alcohol, cigarettes and in one of the parties she attended she was raped.
Moving onto the University Philomena had an encounter with Christ in 100 level and began to attend fellowship and sing in the choir. No one knew about the shame and pain of rejection she carried about until she graduated and went for NYSC. At her place of primary assignment, she met a young man (Andy) who had no idea about her past rejection having come from a well knitted family. He didn’t understand her constant sinking into depression and anger yet he loved her very much and knew that God had a plan for their lives. Her frequent outbursts which were now always directed at him became too much for him to handle as he would plead with her whenever things didn’t go well and each episode would last for hours or even days. They would make up but the reprieve was only temporary before she was at it again. Both of them didn’t know that she was responding to the negative male encounters Philomena had first with daddy then with the rapist. She tried to talk to Andy about it but couldn’t bring herself to give him all the details. After all her friend Shade had done the same in her relationship and the young man rejected her and walked away.
Well along the line Andy moved on not being able to cope with the tension in their relationship. This was another rejection for Philomena who interpreted this to mean God has also rejected me. From here she fell into a spiritual arrangement and relationship with an unbeliever (Randy). This new relationship a huge mistake naturally resulted in him beating her (she thought she deserved it because of who she is), made her commit abortions, her prayer life ended, her reading the word became zero and she couldn’t leave him because he was the only one who accepted her and told her so. Many times he told her she had nowhere to go, no one to tell and that she was too useless to be loved by anyone else.
Though she had a well-paying job, her colleagues observed that she completed her tasks on time, did her work well but was easily irritated with juniors and was ready to issue them a quarry at any time particularly if that person was a male. For those who were her seniors she was very argumentative and constantly sought to assert herself.
Randy continued to take advantage of Philomena, on the other hand her fellowship brethren believing she had backslidden were not going to have anything to do with her anymore. Am not sure if some of you remember this song we sang as teenagers, a Panam Percy Paul song “is there something wrong with you brother you never come with us anymore we would love to share it with you.”
Philomena is broken battered and bruised, yet she is one of the “daughters of Abraham who ought to be loosed from this her infirmity.”
We are all aware that we live in a fallen world. When Adam disobeyed God the whole of creation came under a new master and that is Satan himself. I like to refer it to a situation where man became born again, Man was initially born perfect, but after the fall he got born again. Rejection was not a part of the original creation, the world was a wonderful place in Eden and that is why rejection wounds men, scars them when they are rejected. The act of rejection refers to pushing someone or something away.
Two significant events are a watershed in human history, the fall and the cross. One however supersedes the other, the cross supersedes the fall yet most believers don’t know, haven’t been taught and don’t live like there was the cross which led to a new life i.e the resurrection. In the words of Ravi Zecharias “ The cross intersects time and space and speaks to the deepest hurts of the human heart.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 tells us that the message of the cross is the power of God to us who are being saved. History was changed by the cross, societies were changed by the cross “This book changed everything” by Vishal Mangalwadi. One of the exchange that took place at the cross is that Jesus took our rejection (Isaiah 53:1-5) that we might have His acceptance. In accepting us, He made us Kings and Priests unto God and His Father, made us a chosen generation, a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9-10). We are beneficiaries of the mercy of God, we reign in life through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17), it’s all about Jesus, about His finished work, about His acceptance so stop trying so hard to received what has already been given. Then to keep us in constant reminder, the Lord Jesus institutes the last supper, communion, Holy Eucharist from the Greek word meaning thanksgiving (Luke 22:14-20) where there is provision of all things at His table with nothing lacking, where it never runs out. This table speaks of Jesus life though we have a tendency to only remember His death only. His (Christ) life is blessed, in rejection that life speaks acceptance, kingly and priestly acceptance. This is a positional provision but we must make them experiential, this is where the problem is many times for most believers.
Walking in the fullness of your position as a believer in Jesus Christ requires three things:
- Allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth
- Allowing Christ to be your sanctification
- Keeping your mind on the realities of the new you, renewing your thoughts based on what the Word of God says about you, then bringing into captivity by ISOLATING the thought of rejection then deciding whether it stays or it goes. This takes time and consistency. Remember just because you can quote a scripture does not mean that your mind has been renewed to it.
Parents I want to speak to you, BEWARE you “planned” for two children but had this one that was not part of the “plan” remember “children are a gift from God and the fruit of the womb is His reward” I hear a lot of foolish talk among Christians when I say happy is the man who has his quiver full and they go “it depends on the size of the quiver.” Check your motive for small quiver, it’s either because you think you won’t be able to care for them. Who told you that you could care for a half child if anything like that exists, or that your number of children will hinder your groove (travel round the world, have the good things of life etc) that is just a selfish reason. I also on the other hand do not advocate for careless bringing of children into the world and leaving them to the elements to care for them too. My point however is that as parents we are stewards of God’s gift (children) and we will do well to nurture and not damage them. The words we speak as early as conception have the potential to cause lasting damage to the personalities of these children.
AREAS OF REJECTION
- Rejection in the womb: children are spiritual beings and are able to perceive emotional turmoil even while in the womb such that such that where a woman becomes pregnant through rape, incest, adultery or fornication, this “unwanted” pregnancy that leads to feelings of rejection can be transferred. The same is also true where there was a strong preference for a particular sex and that’s not what the scan is showing. At other times negative circumstances in the home, surrounding birth can also communicate rejection to the child.
- Rejection during one’s childhood: a child’s security is acquired during the first six years of their life. It is during this time that the child develops their values, security, and identity. Rejection in can be caused by the following:
- Lack of attention and care from parents
- Children with physical disabilities
- Comparison with siblings
- Harsh or outspoken parental criticism
- Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
- Parents lack of interest in protecting or listening to their children
- Lack of love affection or praise
- Excessive control and manipulation
- Substitution of material things for love
- A broken home or divorce
- Birth abnormalities or defects
- Rejection during adolescence: there are certain attitudes that can cause rejection during the teenage years
- Excessive discipline
- Mental, physical or sexual abuse by parents, friends, teachers or other children.
- Pressure from others to be the best
- Bribery for improved grades
- Shaming the child in front of others
- Family poverty
- Controlling parents
- Rejection during adulthood
- Guilt over unwanted pregnancy
- Abortion, regardless of whether it was planned or not
- Inability to cope with the low self-esteem of others
- Shame due to physical deformity
- Financial disasters
- Isolation from the family or being sent away
- Inability to communicate effectively
- Rejection during marriage
- Death of a partner
- Infidelity by one of the partners
- Mental physical or sexual cruelty
- Inability to have children
Regardless of what causes rejection, it will affect our relationship with God, our family, our brothers, and sisters and every other interpersonal relationship we are involved in. some of us perceive God the same way we perceive our parents and so many times do not feel worthy to approach our heavenly Father because we automatically expect to be rejected just as we were at home. Rejected parents produce rejected children. Parents who have been victims of the spirit of rejection prior to their marriage will be unable to freely love their children.
There are three different types of rejection which have different symptoms:
- The root of rejection produces aggressive reactions. Those who feel rejected tend to:
- Refuse to be comforted or embraced
- Experience rejection from others – if people rejected are not allowed to vent their feelings, their attitudes will cause others to reject them
- Show emotional harshness – rejected people tend to be cold, lacking sensitivity, introspective and selfish. They often use their most powerful weapon, their tongue.
- Be skeptic, doubtful and lack belief – rejected people loose faith in family, friends and people in general. They become suspicious of everyone, questioning their true motives.
- Be stubborn – rejected people tend to be stubborn, determined to do something, no one can persuade them to change their mind. They will not consider others opinion or advice.
- Demonstrate aggressive attitudes – they react angrily to protect themselves from being rejected.
- Hold thoughts of vengeance – victims of vengeance can become resentful to the point of considering or planning acts of vengeance against those who hurt them regardless of any guilt they may experience afterward.
- Swear and use dirty language – a great number of people who suffer from rejection use obscenities when they are under pressure.
- Be argumentative – often their arguments make no sense but they do it because it makes them feel better. However if they lose an argument their feelings of rejection will be even stronger.
- Be willful – the perfect example is the child whose mother tells him to sit down but he is so adamant to do it his way that when he sits in his mind he repeats to himself “I am standing up”
- Be rebellious – a rejected person finds it difficult to submit and is always arguing and asking for reasons why something needs to be done.
- Symptoms of self-rejection: this has to do with one’s personal intimacy and self-respect and it is reflected in the person’s concept of self.
- Low self-esteem – the person considers him-self insignificant and worthless.
- Feeling inferior to others and insecure – this individual is self-doubting and tries to find his confidence and security in people, things, pets or money.
- Feelings of inadequacy – the person fears he is unable to do things right, or that he is incapable of accomplishing anything.
- Sadness or grief – these are external manifestations of a wounded soul and wounded spirit, which is always sad and depressed.
- Self-condemnation – such people always tear themselves down and blame themselves when anything goes wrong. They have a weak temperament and are easily manipulated and controlled by others.
- The inability to communicate – it is very difficult for such a person to open their hearts to others because of his inability to communicate his feelings adequately. Such people tend to be mistrusting believing that if they open up they may be rejected again.
- Anxiety, worry and depression – this is due to insecurities
- All kinds of fears – afraid of responsibility, things that have not occurred yet including fears of being alone
- Negativity, doubt and loneliness – always speaks negatively, is pessimistic and feels lonely, even when people surround him.
- Loss of identity – seek identity in their work, gangs, sports, school, church, or any place where they can feel accepted.
- Symptoms of the fear of rejection: people who are afraid of being rejected tend to behave the same in any given situation.
- People push themselves to succeed or compete
- Independence and isolation
- The “egocentric” syndrome – “me. Me, me.” Self-indulgence, self-righteousness, and self-justification.
- The “my rights attitude” – they demand to be treated justly and correctly according to his or her standards which are not necessarily the norm.
- They are governed by criticism, a judgmental attitude, jealousy, envy and greed – when they see someone prosper or being used by God or feel threatened that someone else may take their position these aspects of their character is strongly demonstrated.
- They feel pride, selfishness, haughtiness and arrogance – they try to convince others that they really have something to be proud of. He increases the measure of insecurity and of low self-esteem to an unreachable level, forgetting God’s warnings in His Word. Proverbs 27:1-2
- Possessiveness and Manipulation – victims of rejection always proclaim the message of “this is mine, leave it alone” whether it’s in marriage or outside marriage. People who feel rejected often console themselves with material possessions, are jealous, manipulative and extremely possessive.
- Emotional Immaturity
- Perfectionism – “I will put up my best effort to do what is expected of me. I will please people to make them like me.”
- Interrupted sleep patterns – sleep is often abruptly interrupted.
UNHEALTHY WAYS TO ESCAPE REJECTION
- Sexual gratification
- “Popularity at any price” syndrome
The question you probably are asking as a parent/guardian/spouse is that I have already made this mistake of rejection what do I do now? How do I turn this impossible situation around? How does life replace death? I have been rejected, how can I be healed? How can I begin to live life as God planned it for me?
Life I define as the creative force of good which the Lord uses to make our existence productive and make things work properly. Death on the other hand is the spiritual force that makes things go wrong in life. Ezekiel 47:9 speaks of a river where everyone who comes to it shall be healed and live, everywhere the river flows to shall also receive life. Habakkuk 2:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that the just shall LIVE by faith. To live by faith means to have the force of life of life manifest in your life so that death is overcome. In anything we do, we are either connecting with life or connecting with death (Deuteronomy 30:19; Romans 5:14; Deuteronomy 6:25). Romans 1:16 tells us that the gospel is the power of God to salvation and then John 3:36 says whoever believes in the Son (Jesus) has eternal life. Christianity actually gives man the nature of God and the receiving of this life is instantaneous (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
The sustenance of this life however is continuous by being joined to Jesus (John 15:1-7). We find a detailed explanation of sustaining this Christ life in Numbers 21:9 (Amplified) ….and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked at the serpent of bronze (attentively, expectantly, with a steady and absorbing gaze) he lived. You may be wondering how this applies to Jesus, John 3:14 “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the son of man be lifted up” verse 15 “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
There is power in the gospel of Christ to set you free, Jesus has accepted you in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6), the life you are living now is the life of Christ (Galatians 2:20). The power of the blood Jesus shed (Exodus 12:13; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:14, 22; 10:19; 13:12; Leviticus 17:11) the power in the blood is that it wipes away all the limitations and the negative words ever spoken against you but you must constantly, consciously and deliberately agree with what God said He has done for you so that you might see the benefit. Align your words with what the blood is speaking, that blood speaks God’s perfect plan for your life, defending yourself with the blood so you may live. Satan’s voice maybe shouting loud but the blood of Jesus speaks gently and to hear the blood speak, you must deliberately turn to listen.
By the release of the kind of power working on your case “though you are small and insignificant today, you shall become great”
HOW TO BE SET FREE
- Forgive and renounce all lack of forgiveness. Include every person who has rejected you at any stage of your life.
- Renounce all related spirits of rejection such as fear, jealousy, envy, lust, manipulation, pride, abandonment, grief, sadness and others.
- Fill your heart with the word of God
- Meditate constantly on scriptures that affirm your acceptance in Christ.
Christ sets you free no matter how deep the wounds of rejection have carried you.