If you have ever experienced rejection, you are in good company!
Even Jesus was rejected more than once. More about that later.
When I was younger, a spirit of rejection haunted me.
Growing up, I hated my tendency to be quiet. I used to grit my teeth when people would say to my mother, “She’s so quiet.”
Here is one example I will always remember.
When I was in high school, my mother visited the school during an open house event. I was a good student and expected my mom to receive glowing reports about my performance.
However, most of the teachers pointed out my quietness and how they wished I would speak up more in class.
I’ll never forget what my math teacher said to Mom: “She’s so quiet, I hardly know she’s in here!”
“Great,” I thought, “Not only am I quiet, but I might as well be invisible!”
The truth was, I was quiet because I was hypersensitive to other people’s disapproval.
Even when someone gave me helpful feedback, it was like nails on the chalkboard.
Because of my insecurity, I did not really hear what they said.
Instead, I heard confirmation of my own low opinion of myself:
Not good enough.
Today, things are different. God delivered me from the spirit of rejection.
How Do I Overcome Spiritual Rejection?
To overcome Spiritual rejection, I had to learn to seek God esteem instead of self-esteem. God-esteem means learning to see yourself through God’s eyes. He loves you and created you special and unique. You do not have to try to fit into someone else’s mold.
After all, God is not going to say to you, “How come you aren’t like Mary?” or “Bob” or whoever else with whom you compare yourself.
If the Lord wanted you like Mary or Bob, He would have made you that way from the start!
Instead, God expects you to make the most of all that He has entrusted to you – your time, talent, and treasure.
If you suffer from a spirit of rejection, then know this: Even Jesus was rejected and He is perfect!
How Jesus responded to rejection can teach us a lot about how to handle a spirit of rejection in our own lives.
I wrote the following Bible study about at least three times when Jesus faced rejection, besides the time that the apostle Peter denied even knowing Him.
Even if others try to low-rent us, the Lord never does!
1. The People in His Hometown Rejected Jesus
Matthew 13:54-58 gives us the following account:
“When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” So they were offended at Him.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
Rather than celebrating Jesus’s wisdom and mighty works, the people in His hometown got offended.
They had an attitude of “Who does He think He is?” They tried to diminish His present works through focusing on His background.
As a result of their unbelief in Him, Jesus could not do many mighty works in His hometown.
Because of their dishonor, they could not receive from Jesus.
It was their loss.
Notice that Jesus did not beg and plead with them to accept Him. Instead, He kept it moving, focusing on fulfilling His call in the Lord.
Jesus focused on those who would believe and receive from Him.
This reminds me of a saying that author Mark Victor-Hansen popularized in the Sales profession. He called it ‘SW x 4’:
Some will, Some won’t, So what? Someone’s waiting!”
Jesus knew someone was waiting for Him, so He focused on the waiting rather than the rejecting.
2. Some of His own Disciples Rejected Jesus
John 6:41-70 tells the story of how Jesus taught His disciples that He was the Bread from Heaven.
Towards the end of that teaching however, He made this startling statement:
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him (John 6:53-56).”
Admittedly, this statement is off-putting!
While we know Jesus wasn’t asking His disciples to become cannibals and was speaking metaphorically of having Him live in you, most of them didn’t understand that.
Instead, this was their reaction:
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Rather than just humble themselves and ask Jesus what He meant, the disciples who left just said, “Forget this, I’m out of here!”
Their relationship with Jesus was shallow. If it had not been, they wouldn’t have left.
However, the twelve disciples had already decided that they wanted the eternal life that Jesus offered. So they stayed with Him and continued to learn from Him.
Notice that Jesus did not go after the ones who left; He focused on the ones who stayed!
3. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes Rejected Jesus
You would expect the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes to welcome Jesus with open arms!
As the Jewish religious leaders, they knew about the Messianic prophecies. They also knew that Jesus fulfilled them all.
Yet, these leaders chose willful ignorance, so caught up in maintaining the letter of the Law that they completely missed the spirit of it.
They showed no love, mercy, nor compassion for the people.
When Jesus healed a woman with a spirit of infirmity (see Luke 13:10-17), the ruler of the synagogue got indignant.
Because the healing was done on the Sabbath day. You would think that he would celebrate the woman’s getting free of the spirit that bound her!
Jesus was blunt in responding to this man:
The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him (Luke 13:15-17).”
Jesus was more concerned with doing what was right rather than gaining people’s approval. He always wanted God’s approval above man’s approval.
In Summary, you may experienced the spirit of rejection as you seek to fulfill God’s will for your life. But know that God created you on purpose, for a purpose.
There are some people that God has called you to encourage, to advise, to teach, to serve. Some will embrace you while others won’t. That is life.
If Jesus wasn’t above rejection, neither are you as His disciple.
He teaches us:
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
If you are in God’s will and following God’s word, then His opinion matters above all others – yes, even above your own!
Prayer against the Spirit of Rejection
If you struggle with a rejection spirit, the following prayer can bring peace:
Gracious Heavenly Father in Jesus’ mighty name,
Lord, I thank You that You created me on purpose and for purpose. Your word says that I am accepted in the Beloved and nothing can separate me from Your love. You created me fearfully and wonderfully, a unique masterpiece. Therefore, I use the gifts You have given me to benefit others and glorify You.
I know a servant is not above their Master; if they rejected Jesus, then I too am subject to rejection as His disciple. As long as I am rejected obeying God’s word, then that is an honor.
As Jesus taught, I will love my enemies; I will bless those who curse me and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute me through the power of the Holy Spirit within me. I am Your child. You make the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
You did not give me the spirit of fear, but power, love and a sound mind. Therefore, I will not fear the spirit of rejection. Because You are with me, I have courage and I have strength. Thank you, Lord for empowering me to fulfill my purpose and becoming all You created me to be without fear of rejection weighing me down.
In Jesus name I pray,
Focus on your purpose and becoming all that God who created you to be.
If you try to be someone else, you will always be second best!
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
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Me and a friend studied this segment of rejection. This was good and it blessed us. Loving ourselves as God loves us and thinking of ourselves like God does. Thank you !
Amen, Pamela – glad this article blessed you!
Your book, Take Back Your Temple has changed my life! I always look forward to everything you share. It is always a blessing, thank you!
I was blessed by this piece…very inspiring and captivating.
I will share in my book.
Thank you, Timothy – may the Lord bless you in your endeavor!
Thank you for this article. It was so timely. Thank you for reminding me that God has called me to encourage, advise, teach or serve someone and that some will embrace me and some won’t. That’s life. Appreciate you and your heart for what you do. Be blessed dear sister in Christ.
You are welcome, Sis. Go forth in confidence that the Lord will supply all of your needs as you minister with love and diligence to those to whom you are called.
I would really love to hear more about God esteem. Too much emphasis on self esteem misleads away from the truth. Rejection is very painful. I felt it my whole life but Jesus was rejected throughout his whole life too – by family, the church, the government, and strangers even up until that day he died on the cross. Jesus felt rejection from God himself. On the cross Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He felt a separation from Abba Father which is the worst kind of rejection. I believe God esteem is denying yourself, taking up your cross and following him. Esteeming his word above our needs, desires, opinion, etc. We were made in the image of God, isn’t that wonderful ? that the whole purpose of Jesus on the cross was so that he could build the roadmap to Abba Father your creator?
Thank you very much for this important message about rejection. As a child, I suffered tremendously from rejection in not meeting my mother’s standards and often being compared to others. From time to time, I will re-read this message to deprogram hurts from rejection and reprogram my mind to the example Jesus left us; about the love of God.
You just described me! Growing up people would tell me I was too quiet!! I would get angry and get even quieter!! As I grew in the LORD I come to realize I didn’t have to please man but I needed to please GOD!! Thank you for this encouraging message!!
You are welcome, Janet! I praise God that He created all of us fearfully and wonderfully. He is good!
This was a message from God this am. I literally woke up from dreams all about rejection – several different scenarios of rejection – and then I had this message in my inbox. Thank you for this message and thank you to God for His timing. Thank you Kimberly for your obedience to write it and make it exist for us. I rebuke rejection. I know God has some interesting times ahead for me as I am on the brink of using my voice and speaking out about some issues. I know He gave this to me to keep in my back pocket – as it is something I have always struggles with. Amen. Amen. God is so good. Thank you Kimberly and thank you God. Praise God
All praise to God, Kathryn – our God is always right on time!
Wow! Such an inspirational read. I’m only 26 years old and struggled with the spirit of rejection for majority of my life. The Holy Spirit led me here and this message has truly blessed me. Thank you so much for sharing! God Bless you! ❤️
I am glad it was helpful, Dominique – God bless you!
Absolutely powerful encouragement. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.
Thank you, Jan – God bless you too!
I loved your insight and appreciation for God’s word in teaching the Truth . His approval is what matters the most , and doing what is right in the eyes Of Jesus.
Thank you so much Kimberly.
What an insight! so eye opening! The world promotes self esteem but our esteem is out of this world it is God endowed! So liberating! Really enjoyed your light hearted nature. Much blessing
Amen, Smalambe! Our value is in the Lord, so nobody can ever take that away from us 🙂
Thank you so much Kimberly for this post. I’ve dealt with low self-esteem and rejection most of my life. I was abused as a child badly and always told I was ugly and fat. I had a sister who was beautiful and a mother who always wanted to know why I couldn’t be like my sister. It didn’t matter that I was good in school and my sister was failing everything, she was beautiful. My parents would buy her the clothes and nice things, and I got 2 shirts and two skirts. When I got married it was more of the same. My husband wouldn’t even take me to a show because I wasn’t pretty enough. But when my daughter was born and started getting older, because she was very pretty he took her everywhere. That’s how I found out he had other women. He used to say because I was white I could never be as good looking as some of his “friends or family”. Even at work and church, it seems like they always pick the prettiest people to head things. I even had a agency once tell me I would be a better production person than someone up front dealing with public. And with my son’s murder 12 years ago sometimes I feel like God rejected my prayers. Even ministers told me it was my fault because I didn’t pray right and had too many negative thoughts. Thanks for listening. God bless you
Dear Cherlyn, your Heavenly Father loves you and sees your heart. That is where true beauty is found. He felt the pain you felt when your husband did not cherish you and abandoned you. He mourned with you when your son was murdered. He was saddened that so called ministers laid the blame on you. He wants you to know that you are precious to Him. It was not your fault. You are covered by His grace. He longs to hold you and call you His daughter. The Spirit of rejection is an evil spirit sent by Satan. It is a lie. Abba Father will never reject you and He loves you and accepts you as His beloved
In my struggle with this issue, God showed me a Scripture passage that condenses who we are in Christ in Ephesians 1:3-8. The simplification that I can easily remember and go to when I’m feeling rejected and negative about myself is a list of 6 realities that God says about me: I am Adopted, Blessed, Chosen, Favored, Forgiven, Redeemed – in and by His love. (Alphabetical order always helps me remember things)
Love it, Kay – thanks for sharing!
I am 62 and even though I am a Christian I have been haunted by past rejections, from past boyfriends,co workers, family members, I go above and beyond the average person to fulfill the duties of home and job, Yet always seem o fall short in their eyes, it’s never enough,or good enough. Even my husband of 28 years left me because he wanted to be happy. I sought the advice of therapists but still felt the sting of rejection. The verses you quoted gave me hope, not to beat myself up.
Happy to help, Beth! It is important that you learn to accept who God created you to be FIRST. Many people have fallen into the habit of self-rejection. They think that if only others accepted them, they will feel better about themselves. But actually, the reverse is true.
When you learn to appreciate who God created you to be, then you are most likely to attract those who appreciate you – and are less hurt by those who don’t.
Beth, I’m 62 also and people just don’t get it. The hurt and pain is real. But wwe have to hold down to Jesus. I pray for your peace and that the love of God overtake you. God bless you
Thank you Kim for your valuable insight on this topic of rejection . How beautifully you have explained it and I could very well relate to it as I used to be silent in my school and college days and even now at times . Preferring to stay away from people and crowds . May God grant me wisdom in this area and set me free totally from this spirit so that I can experience the fullness of his love .
Thanks once again. Your are a blessing in my life!
You are welcome, Yasmeen – I am grateful to God for the opportunity!
Thank you Kimberly! This reached me, deeply!
This is an awesome article, thank you for always pointing to the “source” of our strength and victory!
Thank you, Rev – always appreciate your support!
You are welcome, Sheilah – all praise to God!
Thank you Kimberly for this excellent article…you just keep connecting the dots for me. You make such sense! You exemplify Proverbs 13:14…”The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.”
God’s word is treasure, Susan! I was just thinking about the spirit of rejection and Whoop – the Lord put all of this in my Spirit. Nobody teaches like Him 🙂
Anointed!! i thank God for this message and for your fiat, saying yes, to the Holy Spirit’s prompting!!