Henri Nouwen once said, “The greatest trap in life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from … self-rejection.”
Henri is right. Self-rejection is dangerous.
It usually begins as a message communicated to us by others. But over time it becomes a lie that weaves itself into our lives and infects every relationship we’re in, including our relationship with God.
I’ll bet you remember when that lie took root in your life.
One of the deepest wounds I suffered in childhood came when I was seven. My mom and dad were divorced by then, but my dad had promised me a new baseball mitt for my birthday. When the big day arrived, I was so excited I ran out to the curb every fifteen minutes, waiting for him to turn onto our street.
He never showed.
Rejection pierced my heart that day. What else could I conclude as a seven-year-old except that I wasn’t even worth enough for my dad to remember me on my birthday?
Women know that pain, too. Many will understand the rejection Lysa TerKeurst felt as an eight-year-old when her mom bought her a new dress for Easter – a gift the family finances rarely allowed.
She put on the dress and walked into the den where her dad was sitting in his recliner watching television. Lysa stood beside his chair and began to twirl. She wanted to be noticed. She wanted her father to tell her she was beautiful, to tell her that he loved her.
He never even looked her way.
That rejection created a hollow feeling deep inside her heart that sent her desperately searching for scraps of love from someone who would notice her and tell her she was beautiful and loved.
Rejection cuts us to our core. Lies always do.
But so does the truth.
The end of the quote from Henri Nouwen I posted above says this: “Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the ‘Beloved.’”
God wants you to look past who the lie says you are to the truth of who He says you are: valuable, wanted, and loved.
We’re in the second day of a two-day broadcast with Lysa TerKeurst called, “Overcoming Rejection to Live in God’s Love.” She shares openly about her own wounds and how those vulnerabilities have impacted her relationships with God and everyone around her. I think you’ll resonate with her struggle and benefit from the solutions we’ll offer for a way out. “God’s love isn’t based on you,” Lysa says. “It’s placed on you.”