I am going to do my best and recap a recent talk I heard over the weekend. (I love how Trinity Vineyard calls them talks.)
This one was delivered by one of the associate pastors, Weldon Edwards.
If you’ve ever experienced rejection of any kind, Weldon’s words were on point and had the power to help heal and set free.
First the science on rejection
Did you know rejection travels the same neuropath as physical pain?
Apparently that’s why rejection hurts the way it does.
It’s carried along the same path.
And amazingly we can recall rejection with great accuracy and detail and feel the pain and emotion when that memory is recalled.
So being rejected doesn’t feel good…literally. And the memory stays fresh; doesn’t seem to have an expiration date.
Four Steps on How to Handle Rejection
Even though rejections are buried deep within our psyche, there are four things we can do to deal with rejection. Weldon showed us how Jesus endured personal rejection and shows us how to handle.
Number One – Don’t stick around. Jesus told his followers that if they weren’t received, to leave that place and to shake the dust from their feet as a witness against that place. Weldon told this great story of how he was fired by a friend and how it would have been nuts to compromise or explain his side of the story. That point hit home because we all want to be understood and to be misunderstood and dismissed is an unfair kind of rejection. Don’t try to explain, don’t try to reason, don’t try to win them over and definitely don’t compromise. When you’ve been rejected, don’t stick around. Shake the dust and move on.
Number Two – Don’t give up. It’s real easy to throw in the towel and discount your mission, your purpose when you’ve been rejected. Jesus was rejected on several occasions yet He continued. Trust me, what God has placed in you, is designed to increase and multiply and has an audience.
Number Three – Don’t be alone. When we’re alone after a rejection our self esteem takes a good pummeling. We torment ourselves severely after a rejection. We start doubting ourselves and we start speculating what others think about us and usually we’re really wrong. It’s very important that you connect with people you love and who love you after you’ve experienced a rejection. Jesus sent his followers out two-by-two and gave them the same instructions…if you’re not received…shake the dust and keep moving. If they were alone they just may have given up. So community and belonging are necessary for survival.
Weldon even shared that during the period when man lived in hunter and gatherer communities to be ostracized from the community was a sure death sentence.
After a rejection, don’t be by yourself. Lean on your community.
Number Four – Give it to God. The bible teaches us to cast our cares on him because he cares for us. After you’ve done steps one through three, there’s really nothing else to do but give it to someone who is brilliant at giving beauty for ashes and joy for mourning.
Lisa N. Alexander is the author and founder of This Woman Knows and What Million-Dollar Brands Know. She is an award-winning filmmaker, director, producer, and writer and is the owner of PrettyWork Creative.