The Root

by Rhonda, July 11, 2022

I've been studying about something called the root of rejection.  The premise is rejection happens to all of us.  Sometimes when we're very young, rejection is particularly painful, and we internalize the rejection.  For some, the pain of rejection is so deep that it drives people pleasing and perfectionism.  After all, if we're perfect, then it should ensure that no one ever rejects us again.

Except the world will reject us again.  

The new rejection causes more pain.  So, we try harder to be perfect.  We fail, and become angry when we can't be as perfect as we should be.  

Then, we act out in our anger.

We become rejected again.

So, we try harder to be perfect.

The cycle continues over, and over.  Soon, the root of rejection is so ingrained in us that it drives a whole new level of perfectionism.  The hurt of rejection becomes so deep, we seek acceptance in anyone and anything.  That's when life really goes off the rails.

When we absolutely need acceptance from someone as a result of this cycle, we're actually deifying the person we are seeking.  The need for acceptance consistently from another human being will always end in us getting hurt and rejected again.  The only real acceptance we need is Christ's.

And we have it.

Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

I can recall several situations of severe rejection in my life as a child and teenager.  These incidents, even if they're small, really stay with you.  A child who experiences rejection doesn't understand the rejection isn't their fault.  They automatically believe something is wrong with them, and they begin to internalize all of that pain.

Even as an adult, the rejection of divorce is devastating.  But, its particularly devastating if you already have a root of rejection in your life.  I think that's a big part of why some people can move on more quickly from divorce than others.  The root of rejection is powerful if carried over from childhood, and particularly devastating when it is reinforced by those close to you, whom you have trusted.

The root of rejection is really a root of pain.  It is a root of punishing yourself for someone else's problems.  It manifests in the form of self hatred for not meeting absolutely impossible expectations.  Its a consistent setup for failure. 

Even Jesus was rejected by the world.  We know there wasn't anything wrong with Him.  Yet, we blame ourselves deeply when we're rejected by the world.  

To put an end to this harmful line of thinking, our goal can never be to elevate ourselves by pleasing others.  Our goal must always be to live out God's will for our lives.  

God has promised us favor, yet we tend to still seek acceptance from the world.  We're looking for acceptance when we already have it in Christ.  We need to believe Christ accepts us.  His love for us has the ability to heal all of this, if we can truly believe we are fully loved and accepted by the God of the universe.  

We need to focus on the acceptance we have, rather than the acceptance we perceive we need from the world.  We can never get this anyway, it is an unobtainable goal.  

We are not perfect.  

Thank goodness we have a God who is.

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