One of my former employer’s name is Rene Vander Aa (Dutch). He’s a wonderful man that I don’t believe, as of yet, knows Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. (I pray that might change.) When I was first working for Rene at the age of about 16 (part time), I was working in the ‘shipping’ department. I would take the product that customers had returned for repair, pack them into boxes, put the packing slip on them, and fill out the appropriate spot in the shipping book. That, essentially, was my job. It wasn’t a glorious job — after all, it was in the ‘back room’ that I worked, along with the boxes, packing tape, and defective products. There was hardly a person there! Now I do remember that now and then, the back (garage style) door would open wide, and a truck would come to either drop off, or pick up, stuff. After all, I worked in the shipping department. Shipping departments are like that — doors are opening and closing all the time.
Now Rene was good to me. On weekends — which is when I worked, mostly, because I was working part time while in school — very often Rene would purchase submarines for us all for lunch. It was a ‘festive’ occasion of sorts, and this type of thing — belonging — made me feel good. I was being included in with the ‘gang’, and, who does not like being included in with the gang?
Now some of you know what it feels like ‘not to belong’ to any gang, or any real ‘group’ where you feel like you belong. You have been lonely and bruised in your life; you might even live with what you might call a ‘rejection syndrome’: having been rejected so much, you simply ‘expect’ to be rejected. But that, actually, is a learned process! The more you ‘learn’ to be rejected, the worse you feel (I know it, trust me, I’ve been there).
You can ‘unlearn’ that feeling of rejection if you want, but the decision is yours. No, I’m not saying you’ll no longer suffer from feelings of rejection. I’m not even saying that everyone will all of a sudden like you. But what I am saying is that, you can ‘unlearn’ your ‘learned’ behavior of always feeling like everyone will reject you. Here’s how you do it.
1. First, you need to ‘not expect’ people to like you. That’s right. You need to ‘not expect’ it at all. If people like you, or if they don’t, let that be their decision, and not yours. You honor them by letting them think what they will of you, and God will bless you for that. He’ll give you the freedom to be able to forgive them for not meeting your expectations, and he will renew your heart, as well (again, trust me, I know, I’ve been there).
2. Second, when you have decided to ‘let go’ of requiring people to think well of you, you are well on the road to recovery from this ‘rejection syndrome’. You need to do but three more things and all will be accomplished! The first thing you must do is to confess to God that you have personally rejected him in not fully obeying him and doing what he says. By doing this you are putting the focus where it belongs — no longer between you and others, and what they think of you, but between you and God, and what God thinks of you!
3. The third thing you must do is to ask God for forgiveness for not having obeyed him and trusted him at every step of the way. One good example of what you did wrong was that you relied on the approval of man for your every action. That is why you felt rejected. You were always looking to others to meet your need for approval. And they never could ‘meet up’ to that.
4. The fourth thing you must do is to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who died for you in suffering in your place on the cross. He was rejected (by God) so that you wouldn’t have to be. He laid down his life so that you might live. He suffered and bled so that you could be free. That is what the Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ is all about. It is about looking to God, and gaining his approval through what Jesus did on the cross, even if man always rejects you. It means to forever depend upon God’s decision that although you were a real sinner, you were worth dying for (something to really think about). It then means to submit to God and do things his way — because you are now owned by him (he paid the price for your soul and you should now view him as your gracious heavenly Master whom you will always serve — even die for if necessary). It means to listen to God and to rely upon him alone for your every move — that means not ever turning to man again to meet your needs in a direct way.
Let me explain. God may know that you need a hug once in a while (and that will make you feel good, and all human beings need that), but if in your heart you ‘force’ others to do that, or you are bitter because people are not meeting your needs, then you are not allowing God to really love you through another person — you are trying to get that person to love you, instead. That is not ‘real love’. But, if instead of requiring that others give you a hug, or meet your needs in a physical or emotional way, you rely upon God to meet those needs, then, when God *does* send that special person over your way to hug you, or meet your emotional needs, or whatever, you’ll know it’s God who is doing it through the other person! You will feel and know God’s heart in the matter — and it is his heart that he wants you to feel, for he longs to be intimate with his children!
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” (Psalms 118:8)
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalms 118:9)
“They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.” (Psalms 125:1)
“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)