“Rejection acts like a tree with a bitter root. It can only produce bitter fruit.” – Anonymous
Right after I finished 6th grade, my family moved to a new town. As I started junior high that fall, I suddenly found myself in a school I didn’t know, in a town I didn’t know, with people I didn’t know. I felt very alone. Nobody knew me, and nobody wanted to talk to me. Then one day, a kid named Earl invited me to his house after school. I jumped at it. Soon Earl and I started to become good friends. After a couple of months of sizing up my 7th grade classroom, I made an important realization. The kids who seemed to be the most popular, the kids who were really good at sports, and the kids who had the best clothes, the kids whom the girls whispered and blushed over – were not Earl. They were two guys, Mike and Justin. So when Mike and Justin finally invited me over to their house, I was exhilarated!!! This was my ticket to the big time. But I had one problem. Wherever Mike and Justin were, Earl was not; and wherever Earl was, Mike and Justin were not. And if I was going to hang out with Mike and Justin, I could not be seen with Earl. So I made a decision. I became friends with Mike and Justin and when Earl called me, I kept putting him off. All those years since that time, there’s still shame around that betrayal, because the truth is, I betrayed Earl. I handed him another rejection in his life, when he’d probably had so many. But I wanted something: I wanted that “in,” I wanted that popularity. If I had to hurt him, I would do it.
That’s exactly what it does; rejection keeps us from ever being our real selves. We are always in a performance mode, hoping to get “validation” from others. Rejection destroys our ability to trust others, and we become reluctant to allow ourselves to get into close relationship with others. Obviously, if we can’t get close to another person, we can’t consider loving that person. The inability to trust others breed suspicion of everyone. We never really know when we might be rejected again, and because we feel unworthy, we naturally feel inferior to others. This inferiority is reflected in our relationships and in our work.
Social gatherings are painful to us because we feel we are surrounded by superior people who look upon us as we look upon ourselves. Although this is not true, our mind-set will not allow us to think differently
Beloved, “trying to fit in” doesn’t always solve the problem, it makes it worse. It gives us a flawed image of who we really are; based on other people’s definition, principles, ideas and so on. It leaves us with nothing real – of our own – we hardly recognize ourself looking in the mirror, because all we see are synthetic fragments of different ideas. We can only find our true identity by looking into the mirror of God’s word.