SANCTIFIED, SEPARATED FROM REJECTION, STRIFE, AND SELF HATRED
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
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.
STOP IT. YOU’RE HURTING YOURSELF.
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 Hagar. It 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?
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:
- Leave your country. (Gen 11:32-12:1)
- Leave your father’s house, leave your earthly inheritance behind.
- Leave your family.
- Leave Egypt (Genesis 12:10-20)
- 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.
- Angel of the Lord SEPARATED Lot from the wicked in Sodom. (Genesis 19) Note: Abraham prayed for Lot and he was spared.
- After Abraham saw Sodom go up in flames, he separated himself from that territory and moved.
- Ishmael and Hagar separate from the family when Ishmael was about 16 – 19 years of age.
- Rebekah separates from her family to move to a new land and marry Isaac.
- 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?