Have you ever had that feeling? The one where you feel like you did something horribly, terribly wrong, but you cannot, for the life of you, figure out what you did?
A harsh glance. A brief response to a text, or maybe no response at all. A cancelled coffee date, a picture on social media where your invitation must have been lost, or a play date that went awry and left us feeling strangely empty.
I have a dear friend who is more like family to me. We hit a lull in our friendship, and things felt strange and distant. She was short with me, evasive it seemed, and it felt as if she always wanted to be alone. I felt hurt and very confused, but I wasn’t sure what I did to spawn all of this. All I knew was that every time I spoke to her, it made me upset. I felt rejected, and that after all of these years I still wasn’t good enough to be her friend.
“Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said about me.” –Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst (For full review of this book click here.)
Every single one of us has had the feeling of wronging another person. Sometimes we know the cause and other times we come up empty and that emptiness opens a void within us. We instinctively go to assuming the root of the issue, and it leaves us feeling left out and rejected. Rejection is a wound that bleeds us, and just when we think we have it patched up with some Netflix and chocolate, it reopens with the next dilemma and we can’t do anything but sit there, bleed, and cry. What do we do with that?
Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:12-13 NLT
Sweet sister, if you belong to Christ, you are a holy woman of God. This means that the God of the universe loves you with a fiery, all-consuming love, and He is crazy about you. Do you hear the freedom in that? The God of heaven and earth chose you to give His Holy Spirit to, and His fullness of grace (John 1:16, Hebrews 4:16). He sits there, every morning, waiting for us to rise and ask Him to fill us. He has everything we could possibly need for that day. He has love, mercy, joy, peace, patience, and even forgiveness.
We are called to walk in the fullness of God every day. We are called to be filled, at every moment, with His Holy Spirit. When rejection comes, if we are in the flesh, we can only think like the flesh and act like the flesh acts. When we walk in the Spirit, the Spirit gives us allowance for each other’s faults. He allows us to forgive others without being bitter or holding onto a notion that held a high probability of being incorrect.
So now we ask for the Holy Spirit to discern the situation. Is she really mad at you, or is she so overwhelmed that she actually just forgot that reply text? Was that dirty look really a look of disdain, or was it a blank stare because her thoughts are consumed with a huge trial she is secretly facing? Are you so worried about not being invited that you can’t be happy for others in their joy? Assuming the worst brings out the worst in us. It doesn’t glorify the Lord, and it takes away the worth that He has placed on each of us.
Sometimes, though, we must respond to the nudge of the Holy Spirit and step out in faith in situations. If after prayer and reading of the Word you still feel like you have wronged someone and you cannot shake it, then the Bible is clear that we are to go to that person and ask for forgiveness. Call them, meet them for lunch, or even send an email if you cannot bear the first two suggestions. Share your heart and your love for them. Opening up those lines of communication are the hardest, but they usually bear the most fruit in your relationships.
I ended up sending my sweet friend an email that bore my hurt and my frustration to her. It was completely in love, and she called me right away to talk. Her response was that she felt the SAME WAY. Can you imagine? We simply weren’t communicating, and a brief conversation drastically altered the direction of where our friendship had been headed. It was led by the Spirit, and that is what made the difference in the outcome.
My hope is if you are feeling rejected today, that you would remember we are not created to walk alone. The void within us that rejection can create is never meant to be left that way. God wants to take that space and fill us up to overflowing, and that by Him doing so we would never feel less than how He sees us, and that is as His chosen one.
By: Sarah Russler
Application: Which of the 7 qualities found in Col 3:12,13 do you most need to work on? Write down 3 specific steps you can take this week to faithfully grow in those areas. For example, if kindness was an area I needed to work on in relationships, maybe a goal I can set for myself this week is to write 3 encouraging notes to 3 separate people I have felt distant from lately.