How to Break the Cycle of Rejection

By Chip Ingram

Have you ever been rejected? Of course you have.

Some of us have experienced rejection worse than others, but we are all walking wounded!

Perhaps your mom died when you were young and your dad was consumed with grief and withdrew. Maybe you were taught that you were unlovable, or only accepted when you behaved perfectly or had the right grades or married the right person. Or maybe your spouse ran out on you and left you to raise the kids, who are now rejecting you too.

The Lord understands. If you are stuck living with the pain of rejection, remember this:

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

But because humans are complex, the emotional, psychological, and spiritual ramifications of rejection can be very complicated.

The deep-seated emotional baggage that occurs from overt or covert rejection can be crippling: feelings of inferiority, guilt, depression, perfectionism, fear, self-condemnation, the inability to receive or express love.

When we have been rejected, it’s not uncommon to react in a way that ends up rejecting others in the same way. People who don’t believe they’re lovable put up walls and shut down the people who are trying to love them. Then those people feel rejected.

It’s ironic, isn’t it? The rejection cycle is self-propelling. Unless something stops it.

What breaks the cycle?

At the core of all rejection and its consequences is a spiritual issue.

Until you understand and believe that God loves you apart from your life experiences, you’ll continue to go round and round the rejection cycle, believing its lies.

If you believe the lie that you don’t measure up because of your past, here’s what Jesus Christ offers.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us” (Ephesians 1:7-8).

Think about that! If you are “in God” through a relationship with Jesus Christ, the God of the universe says He puts your past behind you and you’re valuable and you are free. Free!

If you believe the lie that you don’t measure up because you’re a loser who will always be a loser, here’s how Jesus Christ answers that.

In Christ “we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we … might be for the praise of his glory. … When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession” (Ephesians 1:11-14).

You were chosen! God has a very big plan for His children, and you’re part of it. Not only that, the Holy Spirit is our guarantee of our future. Jesus will never reject you. You are secure in His love.

Here’s the marvelous part.

If you start believing that you’re free and that you’re that valuable, you start living like you’re loved. And when you start living like you’re loved this weird thing happens. You start loving other people!

That’s how we break the cycle of rejection.

To explore this topic more in-depth, take a look at the series, “Unstuck.” 

Written By

Chip Ingram

Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge

Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.

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