Did you know there is a fake phone number that young women can give out to men they wish to reject? When the young man calls the number, he receives a recording telling him that, basically, he’s received this number because he’s a loser and doesn’t stand a chance with the girl who gave it to him.

My heart hurt when I learned of this practice from the teens in my high school Sunday school class. Rejection is hard enough but false hope with a chaser of humiliation is a cruel twist on the already crushing experience of rejection.

Rejection kills.

It kills hope. It kills dreams. It kills spirit, creativity, energy and drive. And more of us are facing rejection in these days when there are hundreds of people vying for the same job, when businesses and non-profits are forcing cutbacks requiring endless layoffs, when magazines are folding and publishing houses are streamlining it seems rejection is the order of the day.

In many professions, like acting, sales, writing, art, sports or music, rejection is a routine part of the job. Seasoned pros advise newcomers to develop a thick skin. And it’s true that it helps to know that rejection comes with the territory but no amount of epidermal hardening can truly dull the serrated edge of rejection. No matter how kindly it’s worded, the person rejected hears “you’re just not good enough”, “we don’t want you”, “you’ll never measure up”, and “you’ve failed – again.”

Rejection is isolating.

Rejection is a scream into your pillow, curl up in a fetal position, and cry for mercy experience whether it happens in a professional setting or personal. Rejection from a spouse, a child, a parent, or a friend slits open our emotional jugular vein and leaves us to bleed out on the bathroom floor of our souls. Often, rejection leaves us feeling so worthless, we can’t even call for help for fear that admitting the rejection to another will only expose us to more rejection. So we cling to the icy tile, muffle our screams with a towel and lie exposed in the unflattering light of our loved one’s rebuff until the feeling returns to our limbs and we can crawl beneath the covers and draw sleep over our heads like a shroud.

Now, imagine this.

The Creator of the universe submitted Himself to this experience.

The Son of God knew rejection.

Isaiah 53: 3 says of the Messiah, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Jesus knew the pain of bone-crushing, chest-smothering, crucifying rejection. And He willingly endured this most devastating human experience to be –well, human – so He could die in our place.

So we can trust Him when rejection comes to us. When we can’t let anyone else near the wound – all nerve endings and open sores – Jesus will apply a healing balm. When we spill our guts that have turned sour with the fear, the condemnation and the humiliation of rejection, Jesus will hold a cold cloth of comfort to our heads. And when we are ready to sort through the lessons of rejection, Jesus will spoon out the soup that strengthens us for the task.

Because, rejection can instruct.

Through rejection, sometimes we learn where we need to grow, to improve, and to change. Through rejection, we find out what we are made of and what we will not change to please another. Rejection can expose our weaknesses, our brokenness and our idols.

Sometimes, when rejection is entirely unjust and unwarranted, then it can bring us to know Jesus in a deeper way since He was perfect and yet rejected. And knowing Him is, after all, our goal.

I Peter 2:3-5 says “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” God has the final word on all things. Though we are rejected again and again, He decides what we will become.

So, if you have been rejected, then come to the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him.

You, too, will be accepted by God through Jesus Christ and when you have overcome and He hands you a white stone on which is written your true and perfect name -I can promise you this – it will NOT say “Rejected”.

Next time you experience rejection, remind yourself of this. “I am rejected for the moment but I am accepted for eternity.” And then press in to Jesus because He knows rejection and He died so that we would not have to know it forever.

Do you have a rejection story? Share it and how Christ helped you overcome it.

Get in on the conversation

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    The Conversation

  1. Mid Stutsman says:

    Rejection is misleading, as well. It can be one person’s opinion, or perspective, but it can make you feel like the whole world feels that way about your work. Very good article, Lori…you have a wonderful way with words and a gift for encouragement!!

  2. That’s great, Mid! Rejection is deceptive! That’s a perfect addition to the piece! Thank you for your encouragement and your example!

  3. Greg says:

    Good post! Here’s the ultimate rejection, if we do not accept Jesus in this life: “Depart from me, all ye that work iniquity. I never knew you.”

  4. Anonymous says:

    Lori, I too had been rejected and felt that pain. While in the 8th grade a classmate (Pam) stared a me and with a devilish smile suddenly pointed at my face a made sounds of disgust and said how awful I looked. I panicted thinking that I had failed to wipe my nose proerly and ran away .
    I ran until I was totally out of breath. Instead of learning from this and treating others with compassion I took the reverse course. I asked the most unattractive, overweight girl in our class I she would like to go to the year end dance. She said she would love to – I then asked her who she would be going with. To add insult to injury, I told her that I was kidding and would she forgive me. She said yes that she knew that I was not a mean person. I then asked her again if she would like to go to the dance -and I again repeated former response. Why do we pass along painful experiences such as this or drivers misdeads – do unto other as was done to you. That young lady has probably long forgotten this incident,but I never have. I can never go back and undo what I did – I have carried my rejection and hurtful behavior for my whole life. Moral of story. Be careful of rejection and reactions to lifes pain and replace it with thoughts and guidance such as found in your blog (God’s word as interpreted from the scriptures) here in this blog. I wish that I had this to read 55 years ago. Thanks, John

  5. John, forgiveness and healing are available through Jesus Christ. He takes us just as we are, with all that we’ve done. Still praying for you! Lori

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi Lori: I am trying to add your blog to my captionsbest blog. Can you add it for me or give me a clue how to do it. I tried pasting it, but it did not work. Many thanks! Fancy Nancy

  7. Anonymous says:

    I just see that anonymous worked for my comment to you. Originally I felt rejection when my comment was not going to go. Now I pushed the right button. Is it the same in life???? Fancy Nancy