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By Dr. Rick Koole
Special to Village News 

Share 'The Scars of Rejection'


Last updated 3/11/2019 at 2:01pm

My first summer job while in college was selling dictionaries door-to-door in New Orleans. Wow, did I learn a lot that summer, especially about rejection. I soon discovered that no matter how good a salesman I was, the majority of the times I knocked on a door, the response would be a quick, and sometimes angry, rejection. I also observed that the team members who had never felt the sting of failure or rejection were the first to quit and head home.

Rejection is often rooted in a person’s early years. It can be heartbreaking for a parent to watch their children try to make friends, only to be rejected by the other children. Or to know that their child is eating lunch alone in the school cafeteria. So many adults walk around still carrying the scars of rejection from their childhood.

In her article on how to handle rejection, Crystal McDowell said, “Rejection is tough at any age… even babies cry when rejected. God made each of us with the innate desire to be loved and accepted just as we are.”

Here are some suggestions that may help if someone is struggling with feelings of rejection.

Realize that everyone gets rejected at some time.

Sometimes people believe they are the only one struggling, while all those around them have everything under control. But I’ve discovered that as people become adults they get pretty good at covering up their hurts.

When writing about rejection, Dr. Charles Stanley remarked, “If you’ve experienced rejection, you’re not alone. It’s almost impossible to go through life without feeling its sting. Often, the hurt lies dormant until a word, situation or memory brings it back up, and then the pain resurfaces.”

Rejection penetrates beneath the surface and shapes what they think and feel about themselves. The first step to be rid of its effects is to acknowledge its presence, discover its source and ask God for help in dealing with it.

Consider rejection an essential part of living.

Meanwhile, back to my summer selling books door-to-door… We had been warned that most of the doors would be slammed in our faces, but on average, one in five calls would lead to a sale. With that in mind, the rejections didn’t hurt nearly as much, knowing that each rejection brought us that much closer to success.

Don’t let your rejection go to waste.

One of the greatest tragedies of our generation isn’t that a great many people feel rejected and left out, but rather that so few people share how they were once rejected. By sharing these stories, it will not only help others, but they will also lift their own spirits. God said in the Bible that we should “encourage one another and build each other up.”

It is especially true if you have a friend that is struggling with something similar to a trial you’ve already gone through. In the following verse, God reminds us that he allows us to both endure, and to find comfort during some painful troubles so that we will be better equipped to speak from experience when we have the opportunity to comfort a friend going through a similar struggle.

“The God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God,” according to 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.


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