Get Passed Poisonous Feelings Emotions and Thoughts


Last night I heard from a high school senior who truly encouraged me when she said these blogs are helping her to put things into perspective.  I guess you could say she “lit a fire under me” to return here with more of what I’m learning concerning self rejection and self hatred.

I hope I can somehow convey what I learned yesterday under the Tree of Life.  I enjoyed five straight hours of rich fellowship with the Lord—a rare pleasure during homeschool months.  So here’s the question—how do you get passed poisonous feelings, emotions, and thoughts?

I want to challenge you that it may be time for SANCTIFICATION!

We are created in God’s image.  We are an extension of God, and the mirror on the wall

I see Jesus in my eyes . . .

reflects the image of God—seriously!  Rejection is a big one and it comes at us like poisonous darts and (hold onto your hat!) it most often comes from the rejection we feel from the people we love the most. 

People?  Yep, people.  It’s the holidays and now is a great time to talk about all the family and friends and church members we’ve rubbed elbows with this month.  Of course, it’s wonderful to be with family and friends most of the time or some of the time.  A few of us may feel it’s not fun at all.  Most of us can look in the eyes of our parents, children, or siblings and know exactly what they’re thinking.  We may even be close enough to a few of our church leaders and friends to know when we’ve scored a high five or a low ten in their estimation.  We know when we are getting “that look” of disapproval or “that sarcasm” that fronts as a joke, but is really not funny to you at all.  Worse, a few of us have felt the sting of verbalized rejection.

I want you to ask yourself—who’s breaking my heart right now?  What thought keeps coming to mind that is bringing me down?

Please know that any degree of rejection, whether it is verbalized, fantasized, or received through penetrating eyes of disapproval, is REAL.  It stings and we can be tempted to PERFORM to raise our status a little higher among family and friends.  In other words, we can easily slip into what I call “the fear of man” where we are so afraid of being rejected that we say and do all we can to please the people we love the most.


You are LOVED by God.  Fear HIM, not people.  To fear God means to go after all that he loves and run away from all that he hates.  Love what he loves.  Hate what he hates. He hates it when you internalize strife, rejection, opinions of people.

I know people who are bent over with sickness of all sorts due to the poisonous arrows of rejection.  Bowel problems, stomach problems, heart problems, headaches, all stemming from feeling we aren’t meeting up or from being stung by rejection from people we love the most.  How do you get out of that?

SANCTIFICATION.  Sanctify means to be set apart.  Separate yourself.

If you walked away from family celebrations feeling low, rejected, and disapproved, you’re feeling the poisonous dart of rejection.  We must set ourselves apart.  Don’t put your whole heart out there to get hurt.  “Guard your heart, for from it flow the springs of LIFE (Proverbs 4:23)!”  Christ paid the price on the cross when he took the punishment to bring us PEACE.  God has called us to PEACE!  RECEIVE IT!

Maybe you are feeling that sting inside your own home day to day.  If that’s you, please know that God does not want you to be a victim.  Dr. Henry Wright said something that turned my head.  He said, “Codependency is calling evil good in the name of love.”

What’s happened is that we’ve listened to or received the darts of rejection and those darts have separated us from God and his Word.  Dare I say it’s caused us to fall into disobedience to Him?

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).                                                                                                           Be renewed in the spirit of your mind . . . (Ephesians 4:23).                                                                                                       That He might SANCTIFY and CLEANSE it with the washing of the water by the WORD (Ephesians 5:26). 

Jesus spoke the WORD and the world was created.  When we speak the WORD of GOD (not harbor the rejection darts/words/thoughts/opinions of people) we will find ourselves renewed in our mind and cleansed of the poison of rejection.

(Hint:  If you read Ephesians 5 Paul tries to explain the mystery of Christ loving the church lavishly as husband ought to love their wives here on earth.  Christ doesn’t hate his bride, he loves her, cherishes her, thinks wonderful thoughts about her, nurtures her, and smiles at her . . .)

Okay, I seem to be running on a bit here, so let me share the bottom line and hopefully you will catch the full impact if you know the story of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, and Ishmael.

Hagar fled from Abram and Sarah after she became pregnant with Ishmael because Sarah was being mean to her.  I think we could agree that life just wasn’t fair for HagarIt wasn’t fair for Sarah either.  Sometimes when life doesn’t seem fair we try to fix things and make a TON of mistakes.  After Hagar fled the first time, God told her to return to Sarah and submit to her.  Sarah and Abraham had to own up to their mistakes and Abraham raised Ishmael, his son, into his teen years.  (Incidentally God didn’t talk to Abraham again until 13 years later).

The second time Hagar left, it was after her son was caught mocking Isaac.  Sarah was more than ready to send Hagar away this time, but Abraham loved his son.  He prayed.  God told him that it was right this time to separate from Hagar.  We’ve seen this played out in the lives of blended families today.  As adults we make a TON of mistakes because life just wasn’t fair and yet God tells us to own up to our mistakes.

There also comes a time when the past is past and it’s time to let go. It’s time to separate ourselves and move on.  Sometimes, perhaps unintentionally, people we love the most have “frozen” us.  Meaning, family members may look at you and still see the “old photograph” of the time you broke your mother’s heart or sinned against them in some way. Family members may not give you room to grow, to change.  Worse, there are some family members who can literally treat us with evil intentions and hurt us intentionally.  Still, we love them and go back to them knowing full well they have the potential to hurt us deeply.  Is that you?

Then it’s time to separate. 


Yep.  Even if you are not living in the same house, chances are the child, parent, or sibling you love deeply resides daily in your heart.  You pray for him or her constantly, you call, you reach out, but receive so little response.  Look, Jesus understands.  “He came unto his own and his own received him not.”  He sympathizes.

In order to get free, you must sanctify your heart.

Worried?  Worried your loved one won’t make it without you?  We are not the Savior of the world, Jesus is.  And God knows how to take care of our loved one and is fully capable of handling them better than we can.  Let’s look at Hagar.

Abraham gave Hagar and Ishmael gifts and bread and water and sent them away.  Hagar’s provision ran out and she cried out to God.  God showed up and PROVIDED for her  AFTER she called out to him.  So trust God that when your loved one calls out to Him, He will step in and provide their needs.  This is the truth!

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth (John 17:17).

In the meantime, you need to separate yourself from the strife and inner turmoil that comes with rejection.  If you’ve internalized rejection you’ve felt, heard, or experienced from a family member, then you will grow to reject yourself, hate yourself, and possibly become bitter against yourself.  That’s SIN.  Separate yourself from it.

Now, if you’re still having a tough time grasping this, I’m going to end this blog with a list of times when Abraham was commanded by God to SEPARATE HIMSELF.  Here goes:

  1. Leave your country.  (Gen 11:32-12:1)
  2. Leave your father’s house,      leave your earthly inheritance behind.
  3. Leave your family.
  4. Leave Egypt (Genesis 12:10-20)
  5. Separate from Lot, for there is strife in the camp.  (Genesis 13)  Note:  strife is an indicator that you allowed something inside the camp or inside your heart that you shouldn’t have allowed. If strife stays you will likely get sick and miss the promise of God.
  6. Angel of the Lord SEPARATED Lot from the wicked in Sodom. (Genesis 19)  Note:  Abraham prayed for Lot and he was spared.
  7. After Abraham saw Sodom go up in flames, he separated himself from that territory and moved.
  8. Ishmael and Hagar separate from the family when Ishmael was about 16 – 19 years of age.
  9. Rebekah separates from her family to move to a new land and marry Isaac.
  10. After Sarah died, Abraham remarried and after his children were grown he sent them away with gifts.  Isaac remained with Abraham because Isaac was the  PROMISE OF      GOD.

Obey God’s leading in your life.  Separate yourself from people who tend to rain on your parade—stop taking your parade past that person.  If you don’t, you could miss or compromise the promises of God for your life.

One more thing.  Ishmael showed up and helped Isaac bury Abraham.  God blessed Ishmael.  Ishmael was a mighty leader in his country.  God took care of him even better than Abraham dreamed.

It is time to trust God and let go.  You can pray as God leads, but stop picking up care.  Stop taking up this sense of false responsibility for family members when God is fully able to provide and care for each one, even the one who seems furthest from God right now.

Can you trust God and let go?  Can you separate yourself from all that has broken or is breaking your heart right now? 

About Lift the Cross of Jesus!

My day job is writing--I'm an author and publisher of a number of books. More on that later. But there is nothing of greater importance to me than the early morning hours I spend with the Creator of the Universe. Although He knows everything there is to know, His greatest delight isn't to give us knowledge, but to give us love. My highest joy is to watch the sun rise with notebook in hand and write the words he speaks to my heart. I want to share some of those words with you here . . . words on the cross.
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8 Responses to Get Passed Poisonous Feelings Emotions and Thoughts

  1. Larry Who says:

    In one of my lowest moments when I lost all of my friends and most of my family, I was weeping before the Lord and telling Him, “I’m so lonely.”

    After a while, I felt the Lord speak to my heart, “Larry, it was lonely at the cross.”

    Whatever we are going through, Jesus has already suffered through it at the cross. He understands our anguish and pain and will be there for us. We can trust Him to help us through our times of separation so that we can walk with Him in our destinies.


    • Larry, I appreciate your openness in sharing here. You’ve pointed us all to the cross and, you’re right, that’s where Jesus paid it all, including loneliness. Isaiah 53 talks about Jesus’ emotional suffering. He was:
      people didn’t want to be seen with him
      looked down on
      left to suffer alone
      people said “God did to him, he asked for it” and acquainted with grief;

      I believe he wore the crown of mockery to buy our crown of life. And he was tormented in his soul sweating drops of blood for our peace and deliverance from emotional torment, including loneliness. Wow. God’s teaching us a bunch.

      Thanks for chiming in here. I pray God’s using this to help others.


  2. Jean Oathout says:

    Good words, my friend!


  3. Hello Hope: This is very good insight that you have shared. I have much to share in response on the subject, but I’m not going to, just because that’ where I’m at with my writing lately.
    I’ll sum it up. First of all, as you initially pointed out – Many years ago, an editorial on child abuse
    that I wrote, fell on deaf ears and I thought “What’s the point of writing about this – no one cares.”
    One week later, I received a letter in the mail that read: ” I don’t know if you are the Mark Ettinger that wrote this article, but if you are, I want you to know, that you have restored my hope, because I thought that no one cared any more, as I am one of those abused children.” She thanked me for writing the article and it changed my view about my writing. With that, it’s not about “writing” it’s about what is coming out of your heart and into the hearts of others.
    If you write to receive a response – you’re writing for yourself. If you write to cause a response,
    your writing to the hearts of others from your heart. As far as people giving you the look or telling you you’re wrong or not supporting you. By writing it anyway, you have already moved away from them by doing it your way. People won’t tell you you’re right because if you come out wrong – you make them wrong, and they don’t want that.On the subject of fear or assuming what people think or what may happen. I read this quote in a book written in 1920 that I bought for a dime, around
    1974. I hope it speaks to the hearts of your readers. ” Some of your griefs you’ve cured – the worst you have survived – but oh what heartache you will endure – from the troubles that never arrived.” If you have a call – you have to answer it – not get permission. He who the Son has set free is free in deed. Be free..


  4. Well said, Mark. Write to CAUSE a response (with Holy Spirit as the teacher/leader for all readers) and not to receive one. Great reminder for me, too.

    The story of Abraham and Sarah was freeing to me. Life wasn’t fair to Abraham, Sarah, or Hagar. It sure wasn’t fair to Ishmael. But LIFE is a GIFT! An awesome gift! And whether it’s dealing out a fair hand or not, God can guide us so that we separate ourselves from the turmoil, strife, contention, and angry thoughts/words that spill out of the people around us. They don’t know what they’re doing–God forgive them–but we don’t need to absorb their poison into our hearts.

    May I be honest? I don’t get that last part of your quote–“Oh, what heartache you will endure from the troubles that never arrived.” Can you explain that?


    • The subject was, “worry”. How much stress do people endure by being afraid or
      anxious or worried about the things that never happen – only in your mind?
      One of my favorite perspectives, is to look back on your life and where you are now and realize “that you made it” and you’re still here and your worry changed nothing.. as the first part of that quote states. Makes sense now, huh?


  5. OH, I get it. Smile. You’re right, worry changes nothing, including our past, present, and future. I grew up with this little Sunday School song that said, “Why worry, when you can pray?” Love that.


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