Stop seeking man’s approval and acceptance. The only approval and acceptance you’ll ever need are God’s, and He is the only one you should aim to please.
Unfortunately, many Christians spend their entire lives seeking approval from family members, employers, neighbors, and even church members, only to be rejected time and time again.
I know how much rejection hurts because I experienced it myself. My mother died from cancer four months after my 18th birthday. I spent my 20s and most of my 30s seeking a mother figure, someone who would nurture me and guide me along my path to womanhood. My longing for a mother figure caused me to seek approval from someone I considered a spiritual mentor. I found myself saying what I thought she wanted to hear and doing what I thought she wanted me to do. I walked on eggshells around her and was miserable and hurt because I was rejected no matter how much I tried to gain her approval and acceptance.
Her rejection left me asking, “What’s wrong with me? Why won’t she accept me? Why doesn’t she like me?” I became angry and bitter. I kept telling myself I didn’t care what she thought about me and eventually resorted to rejecting her the way she rejected me.
Let me fast forward. I’m no longer angry or bitter. I no longer reject her. Instead, I pray for her, love her, and want God’s best for her. What follows next is how I moved from anger and bitterness to love for her.
My healing wasn’t easy, but I thank God for it, as the healing has given me the ability to help other people in similar situations. How was I able to overcome the sting of rejection?
Prayer Reveals the Root of Rejection
Spending time praying to the Lord was the first thing I had to do. God comforted me and revealed why rejection from my spiritual mentor hurt me so badly. During those formative years when I was moving from a girl to a woman, my mother’s passing left me feeling abandoned and vulnerable. I longed for my mother’s guidance, love, and understanding. I was looking for a substitute.
Unfortunately, I was looking for it in someone incapable of providing it. She was incapable of giving those things to me because it wasn’t her job. That job belonged to the Lord.
“When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up” (Psalm 27:10).
God wanted to be my source, strength, comforter, and teacher. As He began to reveal all this to me in prayer, I was able to look over my life and see that He’d always been there for me, and He’d already made provisions for me after my mother died. Although my mother’s death surprised me, it didn’t surprise God.
God raised up my sister, Daisey. She was there every step of the way – through my son’s birth, marriage, subsequent divorce, new jobs, layoffs, a new marriage, my daughter’s birth, my trials, victories, and even my breast cancer journey.
I walk in freedom now because of the things God revealed to me in prayer. He desires to reveal some things to you as well. So, go to the Lord in prayer before you go to anyone else.
STOP Being a Man/Woman Pleaser
I spent a lot of time trying to please my spiritual mentor, and her rejection cut like a knife. After I prayed about it and God showed me the truth, I simply STOPPED seeking her acceptance and approval. And you have to stop as well.
If you’re spending time trying to please someone to gain their acceptance or approval, you’ve set up an idol in your life, and you’re living in bondage to it. You have to make up your mind to tear down that idol and stop living to please them. Just stop it. Jesus is the only one who died on a cross for you. Live a life that’s pleasing to Him. Stop seeking to please everyone else.
You’re Accepted in the Beloved
One day, I came across Ephesians 1:6, and the ending caught my attention: “…wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Accepted means “to pursue with grace, compass with favor, to honor with blessings.” Read that again.
While I was busy trying to please my spiritual mentor and being rejected in the process, God was pursuing (chasing) me with grace, compassing (surrounding) me with favor, and honoring (bestowing) me with blessings. Go ahead and read that again too! I just want to rejoice because someone will receive healing from that one verse.
While we’re busy chasing people, God is chasing us!
Your freedom from rejection comes from knowing, receiving, and walking in God’s acceptance. Regardless of what others think or don’t think about you, God loves and approves of you.
Focusing on His acceptance instead of man’s rejection is FREEDOM! Walk in that FREEDOM. God’s grace, favor, and blessings will empower you along your journey.
Will you pray for the one who’s rejected you?
Spend a few moments now praying for the one who rejected you. Ask the Lord to bless them.