Friday, June 29, 2012

A Case of Mistaken Identity

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I can think of several people over my lifetime of whom made me feel utterly and completely rejected. People who caused me to doubt my worth in this world, as a person, a woman, and a child of God.

I imagine you can do the same, because everyone has experienced rejection at one time or another. Maybe you were rejected by a co-worker or supervisor, similar to what I mentioned in today's Proverbs 31 Devotion.  Or maybe your "rejecter" was a parent, boyfriend, spouse, child, friend, or family member.

Regardless of who made us feel rejected, the fact is, rejection is painful. It hurts to the core, and it can have a long term and lasting negative impact on our self esteem and our identity,  if we fail to consider our choices in the midst of our heartache.

You see, when we feel hurt and rejected, regardless of the circumstance, we always have two choices:

1. Choose to allow another person to define us and determine our worth
2. Choose to allow God to define us and give us worth

Choice #1 gives other people the authority to determine our identity. If we choose to believe the hurtful words they say, then we are giving them permission to determine our personal identity.  We accept their words as truth, even if we don't actually believe them.

Choice #2 gives God the authority, and opens the door for Him to remind us that our true identity is in Him. An identity that is based on the fact that we created by a God who never makes mistakes.

Unfortunately, I must admit that I have spent many a day choosing Choice #1; shedding countless tears after someone rejected me, criticized me, or hurt my feelings. I have wasted way too much time over the years allowing other people to make me feel inferior or worthless.

Why? Because during those times when my heart was wounded, I was so focused on the hurtful words or actions of another person, that I neglected to focus on who I was in Christ. My mind would become so ravaged with insecurities, pain, and feelings of inferiority, that I would inadvertently give my "rejecter" the power to convince me of who I was. As if their opinion trumped God's Word about the value of His children.

But in more recent years, through God's grace and mercy, I have learned to choose Choice #2 first.  When someone hurts my feelings or rejects me, despite my pain and feelings of rejection, I immediately turn to God for confirmation, instead of soaking in the criticism of others.

I choose to focus on the real me.

The me, who God knew before He formed my body and soul in the womb. The me, who God had a special plan and purpose for.  The me, whose Father knows the number of hairs on her head. The me, whose Savior catches all her tears in a bottle.  The me, who is treasured enough to be forgiven of her sins and mistakes.  The me, who is loved unconditionally by the Creator of the Universe.

The me, who is far from perfect, but who Jesus believed was important enough to die for.
 
The me, whose identity is determined by John 1:12 which says "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God —"

The me, who is  precious and honored in God's sight as we are told in Isaiah 43:4.

When I choose to allow someone else to determine who I am, and lose sight of my value in Christ, then I get lost in a case of mistaken identity.

If you have been hurt by the sting of rejection, whether from years ago or just recently, maybe you have been struggling with a case of mistaken identity too. 

Maybe you have been allowing the words of a hurtful person to make you feel "less than". Will you ask God to help you push aside those feelings, erase the wounds in your heart and mind, and embrace who He says you are?  Will you commit to making Choice #2 a choice that you make every day?

If you are ready to toss out your mistaken identity, and reclaim your identity in Christ today, post a comment sharing your victory over the enemy! With God on our side, who can be against us?!

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28 comments:

Erica Walker said...

I have a very hard time with rejection especially when it comes from my fiancée! I feel worthless and unimportant when he wants to go and do things alone or spend time alone without me or says we spend a lot of time together. In his defense I have been being very clingy lately. Not anymore! Today I choose to not let his wanting to be alone decide my worth! I will no longer feel the way I have been during those times! Only God can determine who I am and how important I am! Thank you for this post! I have been needing it desperately!

Peggy Divine said...

God is so good! Just this week at a women's Bible study; a friend who played a part in leading me to the Lord, now played a part in making me feel rejected and worthless. It is comforting to know that we never have to earn Jesus approval! Tracie, I want you to know that by this devotion, you were used by God to help me take my focus off of my rejecter, and instead focus on my approver - Jesus. Thank you!

Elizabeth Towns said...

I made an awful decision that caused pain to a loved one. I repented, asked her forgiveness and made restition. I also asked God to change me so that I would never make that kind of decision again. I believe He heard my cry. My loved one has totally rejected me. I understand her feelings of hurt and betrayal and I deserve her anger. Yet I feel worthlessness daily and it permeates every aspect of my life. How do I sign up for the challenge?

Kate Bartley said...

thanks Tracie. This is something I am continually working on. I feel like I have come along way as a 42 yr. old woman and that I am confident in who I am as a child of God, but that doesn't keep me from reacting in the flesh like an insecure child time and time again. Ughh...How I want to walk in His confidence and for my children to see that. I actually wrote a blogpost back in March on this topic after dealing with feelings of rejection from my preteen son :)

Anonymous said...

This was a timely message for me this morning as I was dealing with the feelings of rejection from my young adult son & from my husband and even feeling rejected by God.
I struggle with my self-worth and feeling like I am important to God. Thank you for the reminder.

Leslie said...

It is very hard for someone raising their children and living their lives by Bible standards to not feel rejected in this oh so tolerant country we live in. The United States standards are currently so low that I am ashamed. I am often frowned upon because we do not partake in things that go againist my beliefs.I am struggling with this! but there is a song that says I don't want to gain the whole world and lose my soul I remember that whenever I am tempted and feel rejected.

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you so much for this devotion today. I felt rejected by my teenage son last night and this morning was degraded by my husband and I was so down till I read your devotion and knew that God was talking to me. I have let my husband degrade me for several years and I think it's because I feel like I owed him so much for bringing me back to my hometown to live and because I was a stay at home mom of two children. I have little confidence and when I do try to make a stand for myself, I'm usually in the wrong. I'm doing Renee Swopes bible study, Confident Heart" and it has helped me tremendously but I still feel so inadequate about so many things. I do believe that I'm a child of God but I know I disappoint him in so many ways and I don't want to be that way. Please pray for me!

JAC said...

I shalllive and not die...I am not a victim ...I am more than a conqueror in Christ who strengthen me. I will not lean to myown understanding inall my ways i shall acknowledge Him as LORD and Savior of my Life the Risen KING AND LORD. rejection is not GOD's best...religous work is bondage..faith works by LOVE...the Spirit of LOVE is Christ formed in me the hope of glory His peace that passeth allunderstnding...His Holy boldness to overcome the spirit of inferiority opinions of the flesh. I am created in the image of CHRISTJesus..my sins brought with a price his blood. No weapon formed against me shall prosper and every tongue that rises up against me in judgement thy shall condemn for this is my hertiage said the LORD of Host. fear not!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I feel rejected by God! God has allowed so much heartache in my life. He has allowed me to have cancer and my husband to cheat on me and leave me and divorce me. Divorce always leaves people rejected by others as the Christian community then rejects and questions. God has allowed all of this rejection so I feel rejected most of all by Him. Not sure what to do with that....

Hope After Dope Outreach said...

I have been told by my counselor that I people please to much, which in turn allows me to be crushed when I feel rejected. Thank you for reminding me to keep my eyes on Jesus and that that focus will help me to overcome the hurt. Have a blessed day, I plan to sign up to de-stress!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tracie,

I've dealt with rejection for a while now, and this has definitely led me to doubt my self worth/purpose in life. It's time to reclaim my true identity in Christ.

Anonymous said...

Praise God! It never ceases to amaze me how God always knows wxactly what each of us needs. Todays devotional is so on my situation today. Due to recent rejection from my husband, recent days have been very challenging. With the love, support and prayer of women from my church I am moving forward in Him. This is different than before. Today's devotional is confirmation that I need to keep my eyes on Him, continue to forgive those that reject me which gives me the peace and joy that the Lord desires for me. Thank you Lord for loving me so much that You died for me. I lift my husband and family up to You and trust in your wisdom. Reveal to me what I need to see and give me Your Wisdom.

Kelly H. said...

Been there. Its a hard place and difficult to get out of... but you can.Beth Moire's BELIEVING GOD study helped me break through my distrust. First step to reconciliation with the Lord, as in all relationships worth salvaging, is to be honest with yourself and with Him... REALLY honest. Trust me, He can take it. I will pray for you. If you repost, reply in line w your origional post so I can know its you.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. Very timely for me today. I am choosing option 2, chose option 1 for far too long. My life verse Psalm 139:14 I Praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful and I know that full well. Blessings
Darlene

Anonymous said...

Been There ~ Done That ~ Got the T-shirt ~ ~ THANK YOU Tracie for this affirmation and confirmation of my past two years ~ your words warm my heart and bless my soul to know that I am on the right road with my Heavenly Father and Jesus my Savior walking by my side ~ your devotional has brought a smile to my face today ~ Blessing Upon You :-)

Cindy Q said...

Thank you SO much!!! Found your blog through Proverbs 31. So glad I found it. Yes, I believe I could write books on this! Wonderful words you have shared. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous- This devotional was such an encouragement because rejection has been a huge part of my life in so many different areas. Thank you Tracie for sharing these words of encouragement today. I really did need this one in a HUGE way today.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for today's blog! God never ceases to blow my mind! Just last night, I was feeling rejected by extended family members and people I know. Rejection is a constant struggle for me. I allow these people to make me feel worthless.

After I had my "pity party" with my husband and mom, I heard a wonderful little voice telling me "it's not about you, it's about Jesus". God was reminding me that I should be focused on Him, not on me or my circumstance. I asked for forgiveness and help to deal with these same people, who reject me over and over again.

When I opened my Proverbs 31 devotional and read "Recovering from Rejection" I was floored! How does God do that each and every time?! He always keeps His promise, I just have a problem remembering that. Thank you for the reminder!!

Sarah said...

Thank you for your devotional and this message as well. I get so much help from what you write. I want to say a special thank you for a previous post, the one on the Golden Rule from a few weeks ago. We were dealing with a similar situation, where blatant sin spoken against in the Bible was being overlooked under the guise of not judging, and we felt that to go along was to present a bad example to our son, whom we were trying to teach not to do that very thing. We read that post as a family, and it helped. So thank you for everything!

SJ said...

This has been the cry of my heart the past few months. I really want to "get it" and have known that I need to for several years. Lately I've been crying out to God to help me in this area and here is another encouragement on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding me of who I am in Jesus Christ. I'm praying that God will help me not to focus on the hurtful things people say, and what they think. It's really what God thinks that I should dwell upon.

Anonymous said...

You have such insights into how rejection can fracture relationships and damage those we love. Thanks for your words of wisdom and the accompanying scripture. We are accepted by God no matter what people say and do to belittle us.

Anonymous said...

My daughter dealt with daily bullying at school, from the time she was 9 until we were able to get her out of the public school system when she was 15. The new school was better but she still felt rejected. She is now 25, and is bruised. We often talk about it, and wonder if things could have been handled differently. I remind her that God loves her, she knows that, but she really wants to be acknowledged by her peers. It's been a long road for her, and she is waiting for the movie *Bully* to be released here in Australia. She wants closure, she wants to move on. We pray, we talk, we cry. How do you undo years of bullying, years of rejection?

Anonymous said...

This is helpful for men too. Perfect timing

Anonymous said...

Lookin for the sign up page for the detox having god to go to in stress is such a blessingthank u

Anonymous said...

I choose TODAY to believe and focus on who God says I am and not on what another person says . It is God not man who has made me !

Anonymous said...

Stay in God's word.Look for scripture where God defines us . There's one of which I'm not sure of book and verse but it says I am fearfully and wonderfully made.God is a healer.When we look for man to validate us we'll always be disappointed and we'll never be able to live up to "mans" standards.We'll always fall short .I'll be in prayer fo your daughter but please tell her to saturate her mind on what the word of God says.

Anonymous said...

Please be encouraged and know that God HAS NOT rejected you . He's waiting for you with open arms to come to Him . Go and rest in His bosom . I can't say that I understand how you feel because I haven't dealt with having cancer yet I've had trying circumstances in my life and I know for myself that God is a healer,a sustainer,a comforter,and so much more ! Cry out to Him and tell Him how you feel and ask Him for forgiveness.You're in my prayers.