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The Root of RejectionEscape the Bondage of Rejection and Experience the Freedom of God's Acceptance
By Joyce Meyer
Warner FaithCopyright © 1994 Joyce Meyer
All right reserved.
Chapter OneIdentifying the Root of Rejection
He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him. -Isaiah 53:3
So many people in today's world are trying to prove their worth by climbing the ladder of success. They seem to think that if they can just get a job promotion, a bigger house, a better-looking car; if they can get into the right social circles, then they will finally have worth and gain acceptance. How sad to see people caught up in the pursuit of such empty practices, never realizing that the only thing they ever truly needed was the love of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Himself did not enjoy the acceptance or approval of men while He was on earth. He was despised and rejected by men! Jesus endured all these things and more, so He could free us from the root of rejection. In my personal pursuit of freedom from the root of rejection, I have come to realize that whatever rejection Jesus endured during His life on earth and His agonizing death upon the cross was for our benefit. Jesus didn't have a problem. He was a man without sin. He didn't go through that rejection for Himself. WE were the ones with all the problems! So He willingly came and took our problems, our wounds, our hurts, even our rejections upon Himself.
But rejection is not just something the devil uses to attack Christians. Millions of people from all parts of the world suffer the pain of rejection. And a surprisingly large segment of our American society has at one time or another experienced its agony.
There are many causes of rejection: abuse (including physical, verbal, sexual, emotional), turmoil within the home, adoption, abandonment, unfaithfulness in marriage, divorce, peer rejection, etc. And there are many results. In this book, we will explore both the root causes and results of rejection, as we look at what the Bible says about overcoming rejection through the finished work of Christ upon the cross. I believe many will be set free.
A Curious Common Denominator
In his book. Creative Suffering, noted Christian physician and counselor, Paul Tournier, made some interesting observations on emotional deprivation. He relates the startling fact that a large number of the world's greatest leaders had one thing in common: they shared the experience of having been orphans. And, to my amazement, some of these super achievers had been victims of abuse, and some were severely mistreated. "This is confirmed in numerous studies of high performers," writes Tournier. "As many as three-fourths of those who become celebrated achievers are estimated to have suffered serious emotional deprivation or hardship in childhood. Because they feel so worthless inside, they will work themselves practically to death trying to have some value. And, as a result of that, many of them become successful."
A book called The Hidden Price of Greatness relates the stories of many great men and women of God who were used by Him in mighty ways in the past. We can learn some powerful truths by looking at the backgrounds of these individuals. The book explains how childhood suffering often sets the stage for a life of struggle. For example, David Brainerd's father died when David was only eight years old. His mother died when he was fourteen. And even though he inherited a sizable estate, he lost the parental love and affection that is so essential to a child's happiness and security.
Brainerd, like many orphaned and neglected children, felt an unusual burden of guilt-almost as if he had been responsible for his parents' deaths. The author relates that the Holy Spirit repeatedly tried to make real to David Brainerd that his sufficiency was in Christ. Apparently, he would get some insight and try to practice it for a little while, but would go right back into that "works and suffering" mentality as he tried to be perfect within himself.
God has done that same type of work in me many times, and each time my reaction has been similar to that of David Brainerd. During my times of suffering, the Holy Spirit has revealed to me the grace and mercy of God and how my perfection is only in Christ. I will enter into the rest of God, and I will go along for a period of time enjoying the victory. Then the devil will attack me again, and God will give me another, even deeper, revelation. Once the devil knows we are vulnerable at some point, he will attack there again and again to see if there is any remaining weakness he can play upon.
Do you know what happened to David Brainerd? The book says that "by the 1700s his greatest fear had come upon him." As a missionary, Brainerd died at the age of 29. Even though he had a powerful ministry, he had become an invalid-too ill to preach, teach or pray. The young man had exhausted himself, trying to serve God perfectly. He literally spent himself to the point that he became physically ill and died, simply because he felt so insecure from rejection.
How many "David Brainerds" are there in today's world, who are exhausting themselves by trying to be worth something through climbing the ladder of success? We all have available to us the one and only thing that we truly need-the love of Jesus Christ. In fact. His opinion of us is the only one that really counts!
I want everyone to like me, but I found out a long time ago that trying to make people like me is hard work! And do you know what's interesting? When I stopped caring so much about what everyone else thought of me, I discovered that not so many people thought badly of me after all. I discovered that the devil will arrange for a lot of people to dislike me as long as it bothers me! When I got to the point that it didn't bother me, those people sort of disappeared.
Rejection and the Cross
Jesus was rejected and despised, a man who understood sorrow and pain. When you experience the pain of rejection, you can identify with Jesus and draw strength and healing from Him.
Rejection is one of Satan's favorite tools to use against people. He does not wait very long to get started planting "seeds of rejection." He may have been working on you for years. Perhaps he even started planting seeds while you were in the womb-seeds to cause you to feel that you have no value and that nobody wants you.
The devil is a liar! This book will help you renew your mind according to God's Word. God says you are valuable. He has chosen you, and He has defeated the devil for you. Believe what God says about you, not what others say or what the devil says.
Although you may have been rejected by others, and even though people may still reject you from time to time, you can be delivered from the power of rejection! It may be there, but it has no power to harm you if you believe what God says and nothing else.
Rejection has no power over me now because I know who I am in Christ. I know my worth. I know that my value is not in what someone else THINKS I am, but in what I KNOW I am! I am accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6, KJV). If God be for [me], who can be against [me]? (Romans 8:31, KJV).
A Seed, a Root a Tree ...
Rejection starts as a seed that is planted in our lives through different things that happen to us. The devil does not want to plant just a seed of rejection; he wants to plant it deep so it will develop into a root-a root that will go way down deep and have other little rootlets attached to it. Eventually these roots and rootlets will become a tree.
God said His people should become trees of righteousness (Isaiah 61:3, KJV). Whatever you are rooted in will determine the fruit in your life. If you are rooted in rejection, abuse, shame, guilt or a poor self-image-if you are rooted in thinking, "Something is wrong with me!"-then all these problems begin to develop in your life. You begin to think, "Well, the REAL me is not acceptable, so I need to produce a PRETEND me!"
You can actually reject yourself because someone else rejected you. Then you become full of confusion and inner turmoil. Your "tree" begins to bear the bad fruit of depression, negativism, lack of self-confidence, anger, hostility, controlling spirits, judgmentalism, chip on the shoulder, hatred and self-pity. Roots determine fruits! Rotten fruit comes from rotten roots ... and good fruit comes from good roots.
If you are rooted in acceptance and love, then you will develop good things in your life-things like self-control, meekness, faithfulness, goodness, kindness, patience, peace, joy and love.
I come from an abusive background. I experienced lots of rejection, not just from one source but several. Then I was saved and began to live the Christian life. I began to go to church and try to walk with God. I began to hear good messages about how to behave as a Christian. I needed every message I heard because I had lots of problems.
Being a very determined sort of person, I would go home and try to accomplish every one of those messages in my life. I could get a certain amount of control over some of the problems those messages talked about-at least for a period of time. But, lo and behold, as I began to gain control in some areas, the bad fruit of rejection would just pop up elsewhere!
For years and years, I struggled as a believer-trying to be good ... to do things right ... to make my behavior acceptable. In particular, I had a very hard time getting along with other people. And if you have a root of rejection in your life, that rejection will most surely show up in your relationships with other people. It may take on many forms, but it will show up.
During that period of time, I loved God, I was born again and I believe I would have gone to heaven if I had died; but I never had any lasting victory in my life. I began to discover that I was seriously lacking a revelation of how much God loved me. Only when I began to find out how much God loved me did I begin to get well. I discovered that it takes time to recover from rejection.
The Bible teaches that we are to be uprooted, then replanted. We are not only to be replanted, but we are to become rooted and grounded in the love of God. We are to get rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ. Every single time you hear the Word of God, if you pay attention and do what God tells you to do, you get a little more healing. As you continue to hear the Word, you get a little more healing, a little more, and a little more.
Become a good student of the Word and let God give you the fullness of the package that Jesus died to provide for you! What is inside that package? Righteousness (even when you don't do everything right), peace that passes all understanding (even when your circumstances don't dictate peace) and joy unspeakable (even when you don't have anything in particular to be joyous about). This is your inheritance in Jesus Christ. You can enjoy life!
I believe God has called me to help His people walk in victory! You may be on your way to heaven, but are you enjoying the trip? If not, then something is desperately wrong, and God is your answer!
Excerpted from The Root of Rejection by Joyce Meyer Copyright © 1994 by Joyce Meyer
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.