Do you ever feel like you are on the outside looking in, but never know how to get on the inside? If so, you are suffering from rejection. Learn how to identify the results of rejection working in your life so you can deal with it effectively.
It’s good to be with you again as I continue to share with you on the theme of Rejection.
In my talk yesterday, I cited a verse from Proverbs 18, verse 14:
“A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?”
Another translation says, “a wounded spirit.” and I explained that a wound in the spirit goes deeper than the conscious mind. It’s below the level of that which we can actually understand or even apprehend with our conscious mind. It goes below the level of our conscious memory. It often stems from some experience in early childhood, but our conscious mind can’t endure that experience and blots it out, but it’s not blotted out from the spirit. So the wound continues there in the spirit deep down below the level of conscious mind and conscious memory. And the Scripture says, “a wounded spirit who can bear?” That takes away strength. It takes away initiative. It takes away the joy of living. It’s a wound that saps out our life.
I gave various examples of how rejection may be brought on. I read from Isaiah 54 the poignant picture of a wife who married in youth and was rejected by her husband. I pointed out, too, that sometimes the rejections is the other way around. It’s the wife who rejects the husband, but which every way round it comes, the agony is indescribable. And then I spoke about the way it can arise in childhood. Even sometimes before birth. A child in it’s mother’s womb, but the mother doesn’t want it. Maybe it’s an illegitimate child or the parents are at loggerheads, or there’s not enough money to feed all the children that are there already. So the mother, during pregnancy, has this negative, hostile attitude toward this child and it’s born with a sense of rejection, of being unwanted. Or there’s the child who doesn’t receive the manifest love of parents, especially of a father. Sometimes their parents really love the child, but they just don’t know how to express it and manifest it. The child cannot receive love that isn’t manifested. Or there’s the case where there’s more than one child in a family and one child is favored at the expense of another child or other children and the children that don’t receive the manifestation of love and favor feel rejected by their parents.
Now today I’m going to speak about the results of rejection. How we may recognize this problem in ourselves and in others.
Probably I should begin by briefly going over my definition from yesterday. I said that the opposite of rejection is acceptance. If we don’t have acceptance, probably we do have rejection. There are various other words or phrases that would describe what I have in mind: the feeling of being unwanted or excluded or worthless or not really belonging or somehow on the outside looking in. As I give that little list of words or phrases, I wonder whether something in you is saying, “That’s my problem.”
Now let’s look at the results. I believe the primary result is the inability to receive or communicate love. I believe it’s a fact that none of us can communicate love unless we’ve first received love. This is brought out, as a matter of fact, in the New Testament in a statement by John in 1 John 4:19, he says, “We love because He [that’s God] first loved us.” I don’t believe a person can love unless that person has first been loved. Consequently, a person who’s never been loved cannot transmit love. And here’s a tragedy that frequently goes from generation to generation. A little girl is born into a family where she doesn’t experience love, she has that sense of rejection, so she can’t communicate love. In due course she marries, becomes a mother, has a daughter. She cannot communicate love to that daughter and that daughter has the same problem. And so this terrible problem is communicated from generation to generation. And I’ve dealt with people to whom I’ve said, “Listen, sometime or other this thing has got to be cut off. It’s got to be dealt with. Why don’t you let it happen in your life so that you don’t go on passing on rejection to the next generation?”
Now let’s look at the secondary results of rejection. I would say there are three main ways that people commonly react to rejection: first, the person who gives in; second, the person who holds out; third, the person who fights back. Let’s look at the person who gives in first.
This is the kind of person who says, maybe he never verbalizes it, ”I just can’t take this. Life is too much for me. There’s really nothing I can do.”
And I’ve learned by experience, in dealing with people, there’s a succession of negative emotions and attitudes that follow on as a consequence from rejection. I’ll give you a list. Usually in the order which they usually develop: out of rejection comes loneliness; out of loneliness, misery; out of misery, self-pity; out of self-pity, depression; out of depression, despair or hopelessness. And if despair or hopelessness takes its course, then the final end is an attitude of death or suicide. That’s two different ways of facing the same thing. Death says, “I’d rather be dead. I don’t want to go on living.” Suicide says, “I’m going to end it all.” But each of them is commonly at the end of that progression; rejection, loneliness, misery, self-pity, depression, despair or hopelessness, and finally the attitude that desires death or contemplates suicide. And remember that apart from the mere negative emotions I’ve mentioned, very commonly there’s a demonic influence at work. It’s more than just a natural reaction. It’s something natural which is exploited by evil spirits... tormentors... destroyers.
I’ve spoken about the first type of reaction to rejection, the person who gives in, who just says, “It’s no good. I can’t fight. I’ll give up.” The second type is the person who holds out, who apparently doesn’t give in, who builds some kind of defense. It’s really a facade. Something that covers up the real inner agony and struggle. Probably one word to describe this attitude would be “indifference.” Often it’s associated by a kind of superficial happiness. The person appears to be outgoing, probably talkative. But there’s a kind of metallic ring in the voice. It it’s a woman, often she over-does the make-up. She gesticulates a lot. Her voice is a little louder than is pleasant. She’s desperately trying to appear happy, as though she isn’t hurt, as though nothing really matters. What she’s really saying inside is, “I’ve been hurt once so badly, I’m never going to give any person the opportunity to hurt me that badly again. No one will ever come close enough to me again to hurt me.” So there’s this outer defense, this outer facade of indifference, superficial happiness, that really is a sham. And oh, you go through American society today, there are uncounted thousands of such persons.
The third type of reaction is the person who fights back, who becomes a fighter. The order in which things follow there is something like this; resentment, hatred, rebellion. And the Scripture says rebellion and witchcraft are twins. So out of rebellion there usually follows some kind of involvement in the occult.
Basically there was a generation of young people growing up in the 1960’s that went that way, resentment, hatred, rebellion and then the occult. And their resentment was not because of material deprivation, but because they’d been denied real love. And usually by their fathers. They were often the children of well-to-do parents. They’d had a good education, they had a home with a two car garage, often a swimming pool, but the one thing they hadn’t experienced was the thing that they longed for most deeply, the expressed love of parents, especially of a father. So they reacted by resentment, hatred, rebellion and they ended up in the occult.
I know one young man, when he was twelve years old, a neighbor was talking to his mother in his presence and said that this young man looked like the mother. The mother indicated she didn’t care much for her child. He ran away, three himself on a bed, sobbed for half an hour. Then ran back to his mother, looked her in the face and said, “Mother, I hate you!” That was at age twelve. At age 18 he was a notorious gang leader. A young man of violence and brutality. But that was the outworking of rejection by his mother. There’s a happy end to that story. That young man met the Lord and today he’s a servant of the Lord. But it’s such a typical example of that reaction, the one who fights back, resentment, hatred, rebellion, and then involvement in the occult.
So, those are the three main ways of reacting. The one who gives in, the one who holds out and the one who fights back.
Our time is up for today, but I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. Tomorrow I’ll continue with this theme of rejection. I’ll be sharing with you the remedy which God has provided through Jesus.