Overcoming Rejection in the Bible

By Kimberly Taylor


overcoming-rejection-in-the-bible

Leah’s husband did not love nor want her. Her story tells us much about overcoming rejection in the Bible.

Self-rejection or other people’s rejection can fool you into believing that you have no value apart from how you look, what you have, or how you perform.

How we see ourselves determines how we treat ourselves.

Leah’s story provides clarity about the spirit of rejection in the Bible (see Genesis 29:15 -35) can show you the truth about rejection and 3 ways to overcome its hurtful effects.

Overcoming Rejection in the Bible: Leah – The Rejected Wife

One of the first mentions of Leah was about her appearance. Unfortunately, it was mentioned as one of the causes of rejection in the Bible.

While her younger sister Rachel was described as beautiful in form and face, Leah was only described as having “weak eyes.”

Their relative Jacob fell in love with Rachel instantly. Jacob asked their father’s permission to marry her. Laban said that Jacob could have Rachel – if he worked for him for 7 years.

Jacob did it without complaint. After the 7 years was up, Jacob was ready to claim his new bride. But he was tricked. Laban had switched brides!

Jacob received Leah instead. Laban told Jacob that he had to take the oldest daughter first according to their tradition.

Leah had become a pawn, married to a man she knew did not want her.

While Leah’s story started out badly, it had a good ending regarding overcoming rejection in the Bible.


The ”People-pleasing” Reaction to Rejection

Jacob worked another 7 years to receive Rachel as a wife. At the same time, he fulfilled his obligation to Leah.

It turned out Leah was quite fertile!

At first, the names Leah gave her sons expressed her identity as a rejected wife, longing for Jacob to love her:

  • Reuben: “See, a Son”: This name expresses Leah’s hope that Jacob would find value in her because of her “performance.” After all, she had given him a son.
  • Simeon: “Heard”: Leah affirmed that the Lord heard that she was unloved and had given her another son. To me, the name shows that Leah was still trying to have a voice in Jacob’s life based on her performance.
  • Levi: “Attached”: This name speaks of desperation for connection. Leah thought surely Jacob would become attached to her because she had borne him 3 sons.

Do you see a pattern here?

Leah’s focus was all about getting Jacob to approve of and love her.

Even though Leah was a Godly woman, earning Jacob’s love was first in her heart. She was a people-pleaser of the first degree!

Many people make that same mistake today.

Because they don’t affirm their inherent worth in God’s eyes, nor give themselves love and approval, then they try to get it through performance, external achievements, or through other people’s opinions.

But that becomes a losing situation.

When that happens, you get caught up in a never-ending cycle of jumping over hurdles.

You can never rest because the minute you get affirmation through external circumstances, look! The bar is raised again.

Another hurdle to jump.

In your eyes, nothing you do is ever good enough. Plus, you always have a secret fear that the approval you gained externally will be taken away.

However in Leah’s case, something wonderful changed within her.

Overcoming Rejection in the Bible: The Godly Reaction

You can see Leah’s change by the time she gave birth to and named son #4.

This was the name she gave him:

  • Judah: “Praise.” Leah declared, “Now I will praise the Lord.”

Do you see the shift?

Leah changed her priorities. She focused her heart on praising the Lord for the gift of her son, separate from her husband’s reaction.

The best news of all? Leah’s story has a great ending.

Jesus came through her son Judah’s lineage. Jesus was born through the tribe of Praise.

Self-rejection or other people’s rejection can fool you into believing that you have no value apart from how you look, what you have, or how you perform.

But that is a lie straight from the enemy! He wants you deceived so that you remain trapped in your own insecurities.

Even worse, it can lead you into creating a hostile environment mentally of your own creation:

When you live out that destructive, small story of life then you miss out on God’s wonderful, big story!

God created you on purpose and for a purpose. That fact remains true no matter what other people think of you or even what you think of yourself.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).”

If you want to keep on living the lie that you have no value apart from external things, then that is your choice.

But what a sad thing to reach the end of your life only to realize you wasted it because you chose to believe lies rather than the truth!

Thank God that Jesus is our High Priest. Jesus understands what rejection feels like.

Isaiah 53:3 records a prophecy about what our Messiah would suffer:

He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

It hurts when other people reject you. No doubt about it.

I’ve experienced that hurt many times myself.

But we can take comfort in knowing that we are not facing anything that Jesus hasn’t dealt with Himself already!

We can learn from Leah and Jesus regarding how to deal with rejection:

1. Focus on praise. I love Psalm 139:14. King David wrote it (he came from Leah’s bloodline too):

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”

Praise the Lord for creating you and for giving you a part in His big story, which is saving lost people who don’t know Jesus.

2. Focus on God’s love and Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus knew God the Father loved him. He affirmed it constantly:

The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand (John 3:35).”

Your Father loves you too:

for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God (John 16:27).”

Because of His love for you, Jesus was willing to endure other people’s rejection, torture, and even death to sacrifice Himself for your sins.

Aren’t you glad that Jesus did not allow rejection to distract Him from His purpose?

Where would you be if Jesus had allowed rejection to stop Him?

So affirm God’s love for you as Jesus did – constantly.

Affirm His love for you even in the smallest things.

My husband Mike and I often do that with each other. Whenever I see God’s favor evident in our lives, I will say “God sure loves Him some Mike Taylor!”

Mike will smile and say, “Yes, He does!” And then he responds, “God sure loves Him some Kim Taylor!”

I will smile and say, “Yes, He does!” Okay, this may seem corny to some, but it is fun and it never fails to remind us of God’s handiwork in our lives.

Just a simple affirmation like that will help you begin to unhook your self-worth from your performance or other people’s opinions.

3. Define your Identity by God’s Word. Stop agreeing with the enemy or other people’s negative opinion of who you are.

Walk in agreement with God’s good news about you.

If feelings of rejection haunt you, I challenge you to memorize Ephesians 1:4-6. Meditate on its truth and renew your mind in this area, in particular the last verse:

to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”

Did you get that? You may feel rejected at times, but never take rejection as your identity.

You are accepted in the Beloved!

Even if you have to repeat “I am accepted in the Beloved” every time the enemy resurrects feelings of rejection, then do it.

Why? Because that is the truth. Start operating according to God’s truth. Once that becomes a habit, you will never fear rejection again!

After all, you are now living for the approval of One – the God who created you and loves you to Life.

Be Blessed with Success,

Kimberly Taylor

Author of the Take Back Your Temple program

P.S. When it comes to weight loss, do you often know what you should do but have a hard time doing it?

I struggled with this issue on my own weight loss journey, but I discovered this truth: “Nothing is different until you think differently.” – Pastor James MacDonald

In the Take Back Your Temple program, you will get all the encouragement and reinforcements you need to overcome the Spiritual and emotional battles of weight loss, connected in a supportive Christian community.

Click here to learn more about the Take Back Your Temple program

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Kimberly Taylor

About the author

Kimberly Taylor has a heart to encourage others struggling with emotional eating and weight loss. Once 240 pounds and a size 22 herself, she can testify of God’s goodness and healing power to overcome. She lost 85 pounds and have kept it off for over 18 years. Through the Take Back Your Temple Christian Weight Loss program, her goal is to inspire Christian women to live fit, healthy, and empowered in Christ.

  • I would like to ask. I know God loves Leah and us all without a shadow of a doubt but isnt God somewhat responsible for this? Leah could have had other pursuers who would have been interested in her it didn’t take for her father Laban to get a guy to marry her. Leah and Rachel came from the same parents and yet they aren’t a little bit close in resemblance. For some reason God choose to make Rachel beautiful in appearance and Leah not so. Surely no man would want her and I know she wouldn’t have wanted herself. The reality is there are beautiful people who can also be christians and have a heart after God and they get to go to heaven and forever be there beautiful self. Whereas some of us are Leah’s and we are ugly and unattractive and one day go to heaven still being ourselves. What of if I hate being asian being Filipino and ugly but I have no choice because this is my destiny and in heaven it’s not like god will turn me European, white, or Hispanic. I was destined to be me forever and I feel hurt by it like I’m forced into all of this. Its not Leah’s fault she wasn’t favored and was unloved. She didn’t ask to be her and alot of people didnt ask to be ugly they just by god happened to be Leah’s and as much as I know it would be nice to be beautiful and hispanic c, European, or white and love Jesus which some people do, I know I’m destined ugly and Filipino forever and I kind of see it coming why people make me feel invisible and I get used or rejected by so many people. I know God loves Leah but isn’t God who did this and isn’t it unfair the contrast in this two women are by alot. I know maybe the Leah’s of this world their purpose on being a Leah is for a reason but what of when that purpose is done and accomplished I’d still be a Leah and still be ugly and asian forever and ever and I know some people can relate to this.

    • OK sis, I feel your pain.

      First of all “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

      Secondly, according to the Holy Bible in Isaiah 53:1-2;

      Jesus was UGLY in appearance.

      NKJV
      1 Who has believed our report?
      And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
      2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
      And as a root out of dry ground.
      He has no [a]form or [b]comeliness;
      And when we see Him,
      There is no [c]beauty that we should desire Him.

      Why did He come on the scene like that? It is only my guess so that we understand where and what we should put our trust and hope in.

      As you have alluded to whether you know it or not, these carbon base life forms are NOT our permanent bodies as we will be transformed and given a new incorruptible body not made with hands.

      Who is it that puts food on your table if it isn’t God in the name of Jesus?
      Who is it that puts money in your hand if it isn’t God in the name of Jesus?
      If you are married, who is it that keeps your bed warm in the name of Jesus?

      God know us intimately and we should Love Him intimately as NOTHING else “Truly” matters. I said “truly” because we still must do the necessary day to day functions until our Father in heaven comes for us.

      You said in part…
      “What if I hate being Asian being Filipino and ugly but I have no choice because this is my destiny and in heaven it’s not like god will turn me European, white, or Hispanic. I was destined to be me forever and I feel hurt by it like I’m forced into all of this. ”

      I’m a Very handsome “BLACK” man and you didn’t reference the black or red race at all which none of this is based on.

      If you know that God in the name of Jesus LOVE Him some MYKA, then Myka should LOVE herself, walk tall and PROUD!!!!

      Mike Taylor
      TBYT Virtual Assistant

      To God be the Glory!

    • Hi Myka,

      Thank you for writing. I read what you wrote with great interest. Here is my answer to what you asked:

      * Yes, God created Leah. The Bible doesn’t say whether Leah’s appearance was the way she was born, through an accident or some other medical condition.
      * No, God is not responsible for the terrible way people treated Leah. It is mankind’s sin nature that drives people to hurt other people – other people even rejected Jesus!

      I spent my childhood wishing I was different than I was. Because my racial identity is black and I have dark skin, I learned at a young age that people would make negative judgments about me without even knowing me. They made low-renting assumptions about my character on first sight without me saying anything and I internalized those judgments.

      But now, as an adult and believer in Jesus, I no longer allow other people’s opinions to define who I am nor my life. The Lord created me on purpose and for purpose. If God wanted me like someone else, He would have made me that way from the start. I EMBRACE how God made me!

      At the end of my life, He is not going to ask, “How come you didn’t live like so-and-so?” God is going to ask me what I did with the unique gifts He has given to me and how I used them to benefit others.

      So I can choose to live my life defined by other people’s opinions and who I’m not – OR – I can live based on God’s opinion about me and embrace who I AM. I choose the latter!

      An old saying goes, “Go where you are celebrated, not where you are tolerated.” Why would you want to be with someone who did not value you? No one deserves to be treated with disrespect – I do not care how they look.

      Anyway, I pray that the Lord deliver you from that spirit of rejection. He loves you and created you on purpose and for purpose!

    • As a “white” woman who’s never been naturally cute I feel what you’re saying. I never thought I’d attract anyone but did & ended up getting married early for all the wrong reasons. It’s been misery as he’s been a habitual liar & cheater as well as emotionally abusive.

      This is not because of my looks, however. Many a gorgeous woman has been cheated on & abused. It’s lacking in his own character & his rejection of the healing our Savior can give us.

      But, because of my own self-hatred, he saw me coming a mile away! I walked right into a life of abuse because I didn’t find my identity in Christ.

      Now, many years later, living an in-home separation which is misery in itself, I’m giving all to God. All that self-hatred I wasted my life with – all the trying to be something I was not… it’s been difficult to realize so much time was wasted. I could’ve given myself over to Christ to be whoever He wanted me to be, followed Him & been productive in my life.

      He can repair though – I’m here to tell you He is working a great miracle in my life of release from lifelong self-hatred & longing to be someone else.

      God doesn’t make mistakes. We live in a fallen world. If we had stayed in the garden I’m sure all of us would’ve been gorgeous, but that’s not how things happened, & it’s definitely not God’s fault. As said below even Jesus was not attractive. Life here isn’t for us though; it’s for Him. We’re here to serve Him & have a beautiful heart & soul that I can tell you only comes from worshipping & following Jesus.

      Life here is a blink of an eye – eternity is with Him. This world is very superficial & it will burn someday. It’s not worth wasting time being concerned about what others think, wishing to be someone we’re not & attracting the wrong people.

      What I’ve done is get in prayer. Whether you feel like it or not, He’s listening. Take a Bible, a journal, & spend daily quiet time with your Savior & let HIM fill you with His love.

      Blessings & prayers for you lovely lady!!

  • thank YOU so much for sharing this; it is a gift to hear the word of God and know how much we are loved beyond our own convictions…

      • Thank you for this article about Leah. I needed it about now. The words “have no value apart from how you look, what you have or how you perform” struck a chord in my spirit. That is exactly what the world tells women. The world says our value is measured by what we look like, the money we have and how we perform on our jobs.
        I needed to be reassured that The Most High loves me! I don’t have to look like someone else or be someone else. I am unique. The Most High loves me!!

        • Amen, Sister! That is the wonderful thing about knowing your value in God – He created you on purpose and for purpose. We are accepted in the Beloved and when we know that, we will not settle for less than God’s best for us!

  • I’ve been reading Laura Gallier’s fiction trilogy series.
    1. The Delusion: We All Have Our Demons
    2. The Deception
    3. The Defiance, coming out soon.

    She wrote “Never let the rejection suffered at the hands of others define who you are – how you view yourself.
    Neglect and abandonment cut deep, there’s no shame in mourning a painful past. It’s a crucial step. But it’s not the final destination.”

    Always remember who and Whose you are!

  • Rachel was buried in an unmarked tomb, alone. Jacob asked to be buried with Leah. Leah who had been faithful to him over the long years of their life. She is the one that Jacob sees himself lying beside until the resurrection at the end of time. Isn’t that a great ending!

  • This is truly God’s word to me today…I was struggling a lot these past months with rejection and again today didn’t know how to get past it but asking God to speak to me!

    • Yes, indeed Ruth – He will speak to you as you have asked. Our Lord doesn’t want us to be in bondage to other people’s opinions but use His thoughts about us as our standard. May you be continually blessed as you walk with Him day by day!

  • Your devotionals seem to always arrive in my I box at the right times. This is something I am overcoming by faith, thank you for the insight!!

    • You are welcome, Michelle – may the Lord bless you and give yourself a new revelation as accepted in the Beloved!

  • Thanks this is the most helpful article I’ve read to combat my issue of people pleasing. God is the only one I really need to please..

    • Amen, Signa – I am glad you you have found this helpful. I too struggled with feelings of rejection and you will discover it is very freeing to be rid of it!

  • Oh Kimberly I had bookmarked this earlier and just re-read it! God has given you so much wisdom. Too long and boring to go into on this thread, other than to say that 55-60 years of sibling rivalry has reared its ugly head again and as usual I’m stuck in the middle. But this scriptural blessing has lifted my spirits!
    A multitude of blessings to you and Mike!!

  • You preached to me because it’s true I am a people pleaser and I seek approval from anybody except God. I am thankful that I found this and am glad that I am now transformed.

  • one thing i always remain in my mind as the history of Jacob as i read that when i am returned in my life am single i need to enjoy to mirage i loved some one already in my heart but am not heard god voice whether she is my wife or not so because of this i always struggle so show me the direction if she is mine?

    • Hi Gudissa, you asked how to know if the someone you love is your wife. If you are a Believer in Jesus Christ (https://www.everystudent.com/features/gettingconnected.html) then any prospective wife will also be a Believer in Jesus Christ. The Lord will not send you to marry an unbeliever. Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” As part of the agreement, how does the woman feel about you? Does she love and respect you too? Since the marriage would involve both of you, the Lord will confirm to her that you are her husband. So if she hasn’t confirmed it, then you can’t conclude that she is your wife yet.

      Next, is the woman someone who obeys God’s word (not engaging in premarital sex), wise in managing her own life, someone of high character that you would trust?

      Since you will be one with this person, you want to feel confident about the person you are joining with: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:24).”

      If you are God’s child, then He is not going to send you any less than His best. So that is what you should expect. Finally, when God sends you your wife, you will have peace in your spirit. There won’t be any confusion because God is not the author of confusion.

  • As we Barbadians (bajans) would say… Wuhloss! My (spiritual) belly is full! That was bang on Kim. Thanks and may God bless you and your family forever.

  • Magnificent teaching. God has been working with me on rejection for years, I have seen a shift in my life since I no longer believe mans lies but believe Gods truth. I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

  • Glory Be To God!!!

    Kimberely, I so needed this reminder tonight. Reminding me that I am dearly loved by our Heavenly Father inspite of man s’ rejection. Rejection has been trying to visit me for the last month or so by close relatives, and I refused to received it as one.

    Thank you Kim, for your labor of love.

  • This is a “right on time” message, but honestly if we think about it, the entire Bible is a “right on time” message! This used to be one of my most disliked biblical tales. I just thought it was so unfair to her and then her children were part of the group to hurt Joseph. I never took time to realize the Jesus birthline connection for seeing Leah’s “LOW” place in the family and her children’s following in her footsteps. What we miss when we connect ourselves to LOW points! Thanks!

      • So profound. now I finally understand the root of the people pleasing that I struggled with for many years. In fact, it was Isaiah 53 that caused me to come to Christ. Not just that He suffered rejection and responded to those who rejected Him with love and forgiveness. It was many years before I finally could say I understand and affirm my identity in Christ. Thank you Kim. You are a blessing.

        • I praise the Lord for illuminating the case of this issue in your life, Sherry. As a new creation in Christ, your inheritance is the abundant life that our Savior offers. God bless you, Sister!

  • Thank you Kim!!!! This was right on time for me! I have to remember DAILY, that GOD is here with and for me and that no one else’s opinions should matter. I am beautifully made, blessed, and LOVED!

    Thank you my sister!

    Gina

  • I LOVE the way you help us understand Scriptures even better! Yes, God does love Him some Mike, Kim (and Debbie) for sharing you both with us!! Thank you!!!!!

  • Thank you Kim for that powerful message! We all need to know and be reassured that we are loved by the Almighty! It is a finished work!!! Love the “God loves him some…. me!!!
    Many blessings to you and your family!

  • Thank you so much for today’s lesson. I was up half the night with my soon to be ex husband who is tripping out on meth and saying and doing very hurtful crazy things. This really helped!

  • I love the comment that God made you on purpose, for a purpose – that is powerful! Kim, thank you for these reminders of where our real value comes from, it is so counter to what we hear everyday, especially counter to the lies we tell ourselves. Bless you and Mike!

  • This was absolutely awesome & right on time with the current shift in my life. Thanks for allowing God to use you. May the blessing of God chase you down & overtake you!
    Shalom

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