been said that if you live for the acceptance of others, you will die
from their rejection. If your sense of self-worth is based on the
approval of others, your value is at the mercy of what others think
about you. Your identity, who you are, how you see yourself is
determined by how others see you and respond to you.
In our brokenness, we tend to give people a lot of power. People on the outside control my thoughts, feelings, and my will. They own me. I don’t know who I am, and I live in fear of failing to meet their approval and being rejected.
We need to give our fear of rejection over to the Lord. He created us and established our worth. When we let His love pour into us, we learn to trust Him, and He will turn our fear into faith, and we will find full acceptance in the arms of our precious Savior.
If you believe that you may be living for the approval of others, evaluate the following statements and see if you identify with any of them.
”I am not good enough.”
“I have to try harder.”
“I have to earn love.’
“I flatter people so they will like me.”
“I have to be perfect.”
“I always feel less than.”
“I know what I think is not important.”
“I know that I am not likable.”
“I never feel like I belong.”
“I don’t measure up.”
If you can relate to any of the above chances are that there is a deep root of rejection driving your need for approval and acceptance from others. Please understand that just because you have been rejected in the past, you don’t have to walk in fear that you will be rejected again by others. We can be so crippled by the fear of being rejected that without realizing it we can push others away, or create situations where we will be rejected fulfilling a self-imposed prophecy which causes us to continue to believe lies about ourselves and feel alone and rejected.
Others may have done things in the past to make you feel angry, victimized, unappreciated, and used. Indeed, you may have a valid reason to feel anger.
You may have been taken advantage of and victimized by others. You may have been unappreciated by others. You may have been used by others. These are common experiences of just about all people.
However, when these kinds of occurrences happen in life we have a choice to make. We can choose to be drawn into the darkness put upon us by others or we can choose to stay out in the light and love of Christ.
If you are truly a child of God, others may try to do things to make you angry but you do not have to respond or feel angry.
In Christ, others may try to victimize you but you do not have to be a victim. In Christ, others may not appreciate you but you do not need the appreciation of others.
In Christ, others may use you to their advantage but you do not need to feel used because you have given over all of who you are to Him who died for you.
The power we live under in Christ is an insulating power for our hearts. This insulating power keeps us from feeling angry, victimized, unappreciated, and used by others.
Nothing is more grieving than loving someone bent on destruction. Feeling powerless can drive us to insane levels of trying to save our loved ones from the consequences of their poor choices by fixing, managing, and trying to change and control their lives. Often we don’t even realize that we may be hindering the work of the Holy Spirit that convicts, leads them to a place of brokenness, surrender, and repentance.
Our greatness act of love must be to pray, let go and surrender them to God. When we get out of the way, our loved ones stop looking to us to be their savior and turn to their true Savior Jesus Christ who has the power to heal, restore, redeem and set free.
Whether it’s a spouse, child, sibling or a friend, we must release them to the care of God, yet it’s difficult to do because many of us have a misconception about what it means to let go and release. The following poem was written by June Hunt. It’s a beautiful picture of releasing.
Releasing you is not to stop loving you but loving you enough to stop leaning on you.
Releasing is not to stop caring for you but to care enough to stop controlling you.
Releasing is not to turn away from you, but it is to turn to Christ trusting His will over you.
Releasing is not to harm you but realizing my help has been harmful to you.
Releasing is not to refuse you but to refuse to keep reality from you.
Releasing is not to prove my power over you, but it is to admit that I am powerless to change you.
Releasing is not to stop believing in you, but it is to believe the Lord alone will build character in you.
Releasing is not to condemn the past but to cherish the present and commit our future to the Lord.
God cares about our relationships and wants us to be right with one another. Too often close relationships are torn apart due to hurts, misunderstandings, offenses, pride, unresolved issues, and emotions can run deep, cut at the heart filling us with bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness.
And usually, it’s the relationships we treasure the most that breakdown and cause the deepest pain. Rather than confront the issues, it may seem easier to avoid, blame others and feel justified holding on to our hurts and anger.
Yet God calls us higher. His word says that as much as depends on us to live at peace with all people (Romans 12:18). We need to forgive those who have wounded us and ask for forgiveness when we have wounded others. We will never be free unless we learn how to forgive and release our offenders at the foot of the cross.
We need only take ownership of our wrong doings and leave the rest at God’s feet endeavoring always to extend grace and leave the door open for reconciliation whenever possible.
Are you struggling with forgiveness? Sometimes all it takes is to go to Jesus with a sincere heart and ask Him to give you a willingness to forgive, make amends and pursue peace. There is nothing that He can’t do with a willing and surrendered heart.
From the moment I formed you, I loved you, Even while you were not in a relationship with me when you rejected me and living in the world, I loved you. When you gave your life to me, I loved you. When you walked away from me like the prodigal son, I loved you. When you hit bottom and could no longer continue, I met you there and loved you. When my voice penetrated your heart, and you were finally ready to surrender ALL of yourself to me, I loved you. I have never stopped loving you.
My heart breaks when yours does. I cry when you cry. I have heard all your prayers. I understood when you were angry with me and questioned my whereabouts. Even though some of your choices came with terrible consequences, and it broke my heart to watch you endure the pain from your choices because I am your Father and I love you. I discipline as a loving father, and I knew that you needed that pain to find your way back to me.
I am your comforter, and I protect you at all times. There is nothing that has kept me from you. When you ran from me, I ran after you. You are MINE, and I love everything about you because I made you. My purpose and plan for your life has never changed. I was just waiting patiently for you to really know me, not just in your head but deep in your heart where my truths are planted and rooted deeply in the soil of my unending love for you. Now they are.
I know you are ready to serve me with your whole heart. I will use your testimony and the gifts that I have given you to touch the hearts of many and draw many to Me, to help heal the broken hearts of my hurting daughters. Here is my hand, take it, and I will guide, equip and prepare you to do the work that I have started in you.
With Everything I AM, I love you!
Your Abba Father and Healer
Ignored or denied feelings won’t go away. They are buried alive, deep inside your soul, where they fester and create an infection that produces poison in your body.
As long as emotional pain continues to be suppressed and undealt with the symptoms will only get worse such as relationship conflict, unhealthy behaviors, depression, addictions, and all sorts of other coping mechanisms that wound the heart and separate us from self, others and God.
That’s why it’s so vitality important to face your feelings.
Bring your heartache and hurts, your anxiety, your fear, and frustration to Jesus. Pour out your heart to Him and receive His comfort. He alone understands the depth of your hurt and pain. His word assures us in Isaiah that He was a man of sorrows acquainted with our grief. Hold on to the assurance found in His Holy Word…
“We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. “
Being intimate involves the mixing of our life with another, a mingling of souls, a sharing of hearts. This is something that we all long for because that is how God made us. We were designed to connect. It requires openness, honesty, and transparency – the ability to share our true selves and have security knowing that we are loved and accepted just the way we are despite our imperfections. This is true intimacy.
Sex can be the most intimate and beautiful expression of love within the boundaries of marriage, but we are lying to ourselves when we think that sex is proof of love. How many men do you know that demand sex as proof of love and how many women give in to sex in hopes of getting love?
Real intimacy does not come by merely coming together in sex. Many couples go to bed at night sharing their bodies but feel lonely because they don’t share their hearts. You see sex is not the source of love, it’s merely an expression of it. And no matter how hard you try, if real emotional and spiritual intimacy does not take place before sex, it probably won’t after. Not to mention God will not bless a relationship that goes against His word.
True intimacy begins with your relationship with God first. This relationship is the foundation for all healthy relationships. When you let the living God be the source of intimacy and love in your life, you won’t fall into the pitfalls of relationships devoid of emotional and spiritual intimacy that leave your heart longing and unsatisfied.
“For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” Psalm 107:9
It is in our greatest struggles and pain that we encounter The Comforter – Our Jesus in the deepest intimate way. And we emerge on the other side with a heart of compassion for those who face the same hurts and struggles.
Our God not only heals and restores our broken hearts and lives, but He is faithful to turn our pain into a ministry of compassion to reach the hurting so we can comfort others as we have been comforted.
He truly gives us beauty for ashes.
God’s word gives us the formula for relationships. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Many of us because of our past don’t even know what authentic love looks like. It’s never been modeled to us the right way so we can’t love ourselves much less others. And No being self-absorbed is not love it’s quite the opposite.
There may be things in your heart hindering your ability to love God, self and others. 1 John 4:19 says we love God because he first loved us. Run to the source of authentic love. Let him heal and saturate you with His love.
Once you experience the fullness of His love unhindered by the lies of the past you will love Jesus in the depth of your heart and know in your soul how precious and valuable you are in His sight and are worth loving. Then you can love radically. Because His love is radical! Get to the root!