Today’s Daily Light
Continuing… The Search For Significance…by Robert McGee
Chapter 3 – The Approval Addict – Dealing With Rejection
The world we live in is filled with people who ask or demand that we please them in exchange for their approval and acceptance. Such demands often lead us directly to a second false belief: I must be approved by certain others to feel good about myself. Living according to this false belief causes us to fear rejection, conforming virtually all of our attitudes and actions to the expectations of others.
Effects Of The Fear Of Rejection
Virtually all of us fear rejection. We can fall prey to it even when we’ve learned to harden our defenses in anticipation of someone’s disapproval. Neither being defensive nor trying to please another person’s every whim is the answer to this problem. These are only coping mechanisms that prevent us from dealing with the root of our fear. Rejection is a type of communication. It conveys a message that someone else is unsatisfactory to us, that he or she doesn’t measure up to a standard we’ve created or adopted. Sometimes rejection is willfully used as an act of manipulation designed to control someone else. Usually, rejection is manifested by an outburst of anger, a disgusted look, an impatient answer, or a social snub. Whatever the form of behavior, it communicates disrespect, low value, and lack of appreciation. Nothing hurts quite like the message of rejection.
If this is true, why do we reject others so frequently? Again, rejection can be a very effective, though destructive, motivation. Without lifting a finger, we can send the message that our targeted individual doesn’t meet our standards. We can harness this person’s instinctive desire for acceptance until we have changed and adapted his or her behavior to suit our tastes and purposes. This is how rejection enables us to control the actions of another human being.
Many misguided preachers have used rejection and guilt as a forceful means of motivation. They expound on our weaknesses, our failures, our unworthiness, and our inability to measure up to Christ’s high standards. Not only is our performance declared unworthy, but we are left feeling denounced, devalued, and devastated. As a result, thousands who have been broken by this rejection have left the church without understanding Christ’s accepting, unconditional love, a love that never uses condemnation to correct behavior.
As we grow in our relationship with God, the Holy Spirit will continue teaching us how to apply this liberating truth to different aspects of our lives at an increasingly deeper level. In fact, one evidence of His work within us is the ability to see new areas of our lives in which we are allowing the opinions of others to determine our sense of worth. With spiritual maturity we will more often be able to identify these areas and choose to find our significance in God’s unconditional love for us and complete acceptance of us. However, profound changes in our value system take honesty, objectivity, and prolonged, persistent, application of God’s Word.
Before we examine God’s solution to our fear of failure, we must first identify and understand how this fear is manifested in our lives. Similar to the fear of failure, the fear of rejection can affect us in many ways. (Con’t tomorrow 😊)
Galatians 1:10… Paul drew the line for us when he said For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”
Dear Father…I thank you that you created us with the desire to be accepted. I know that it is the nature of evil and sin to corrupt all things wonderful and beautiful in what and how you designed them to work ‘so that’ such manipulation keeps us from realizing our value and significance to/in YOU. I pray that this week all of us will grow in our ability to see Your unconditional acceptance and love for us. Amen