Acceptance Is The Antidote for Rejection
My teenage son will soon be asking some fortunate girl to accompany him to his high school prom. That sweet girl (I presume) will smile and say yes to his request. A tuxedo will be rented, flowers will be chosen, and a sparkly dress will be worn on a warm spring night. I can see it now.
I do not conjure up these images from my own experience, however.
I was an awkward teen. Most of the boys, except for the basketball players, were at least four inches shorter which made me a target of jokes and less likely to be picked as a prom date. Although I did date some, the boys usually crowded around the more popular girls of which I was not one. I didn’t fit into any particular crowd. So, when I was a junior, you can imagine my surprise and delight at being asked to the prom by one of the senior boys.
With only a couple of weeks before the prom, I picked out the perfect dress and shoes (flats) and waited for my prom date to tell me where we would go for dinner before the prom. He never said. In fact, I think he began avoiding me at school. I was starting to worry. The day was getting close; it was just a few days away. So, I finally caught up with my prom date in the hall at school. Finally, we could make plans for a beautiful night.
He made plans, alright, but not with me. He told me he was going with another girl. In fact, she was the one he wanted to ask in the first place. "Sorry," he added and walked away. The reality hit me smack in the stomach, I was the second choice!!
My chest burned. My face was on fire, and my heart was broken all at the same time. What I thought about myself seemed to be confirmed. I am unlovable and unwanted. Second string.
A description of how I felt is not necessary. We all experience rejection at some point in our lives. You know how it feels.
What about that time that you discovered you were not asked to join the young mom's lunch group? Or, do you remember when you were passed over for the promotion for someone younger but less experienced? Maybe you felt the pain of rejection when your father left...maybe, you never seem to meet your mother's expectations.
Louie Giglio writes in his book, Goliath Must Fall, “...one of the most powerful forces in humanity is acceptance. It’s what we all crave.”
Acceptance is the opposite of rejection.
We want to be accepted and never rejected. I have been known to twist myself into all kinds of shapes just be accepted. We can sometimes continue unhealthy relationships in the name of acceptance or go against what we believe to avoid rejection.
You do not have to twist yourself out of shape and do things for acceptance.
Sweet sisters, God accepts us and will never reject us. Rejection is not in His nature.
No matter what the world says about us or what we say to ourselves, God is not looking for improvement before He says, “I choose you.”
He is not waiting for you to lose twenty pounds and have perfect hair. When He looks at you, He sees the most beautiful woman in the world.
God accepts you just the way you are.
How in the world can that be you ask? It is because He made you. Even before God created the earth, He knew you, and He accepted you then. Psalm 139 reminds us of how intimately God knows us and how precious we are to the Creator.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
Take that in for a moment. God's precious thoughts of you cannot be counted!!
David wrote these words, and he knew rejection often in his life. His brothers rejected him. Saul hated him and sought to kill him. Yet, he lived in the acceptance of God, not in the rejection of the world.
And Jesus suffered rejection, too. The perfect Son of God felt the sting of rejection from His family, the religious leaders, even the people He came to save. Jesus is the “cornerstone” rejected by those He would die for.
But we will never know rejection from our Savior:
“...those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.”
John 6:37 (emphasis mine)
You will never know rejection from Jesus. You are always accepted. You are always, always loved.
However, worldly rejection will come, and it will sting.
The antidote for the sting is knowing the truth Jesus accepts you. Even before you were formed, you were accepted and will never be rejected. As a beloved child of God, know and live in the acceptance of your Savior.
My prom disaster does have a happy ending.
I have to thank my dear friend, Frank, for rescuing me. He was also rejected as a suitable prom date. I learned there is always someone out there suffering in the same way and your hurt enables you to soothe the pain of another. We enjoyed the evening, dancing and laughing, no pressure, no expectations.
Just two friends, helping each other get through the pain of rejection.
Father, praise you for your unfailing love and total acceptance. You knew us before we were born and you know every day of our lives, yet you will never reject us. We are save in your arms.
Check out Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants, by Louie Giglio. I highly recommend the book which addresses the “giants” that we face and teaches us that Jesus has already won the victory. One of my favorite pastors, Charles Stanley, writes in the first pages, “I believe God is going to set people free of their giants through the wonderful truth Louie share in this book.”