We all face rejection in our day-to-day life. Some are more deeply rooted than others, but all rejection hurts. Rejection causes many insecurities that last within in us for years. It causes trust issues with ourselves and others. It causes us to overreact in situations when someone or something triggers our insecurities. Lysa TerKeurst says it best in her book, Uninvited, by stating, “If we react with more emotion than is appropriate for an isolated incident, it’s probably not so isolated. The escalated emotion of this situation is probably an indication of painful ties to the past.”
There is a character in the Bible who had deeply rooted issues that started with rejection. David, even though he became the King of Israel, had insecurities by how his father treated him. When David was young, he was rejected by his father by not being included in the most important day of their families lives. While David was tending the sheep, a prophet named Samuel arrived at their home to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be king. Jesse had eight sons, including David. Jesse presented seven sons to Samuel, but Samuel did not choose any of them. Samuel asked if “these were all the sons [Jesse] had” and Jesse responded by saying, “there is still the youngest” which was referring to David (1 Samuel 16:11). Immediately when Samuel saw David, he anointed him as the Lord said to do. He “took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers” (1 Samuel 16:13). This rejection continued to haunt David for many years to come. We will see this in chapter 25 in 1 Samuel.
In chapter 25, David was rejected by Nabal and reacted irrationally over the situation. David sent ten servants to Carmel to ask Nabal to prepare a meal in honor of his name (1 Samuel 25:5-8). Nabal reacted by saying, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse?…Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered…and give it to men coming from who knows where?” (1 Samuel 25:10-11). When the men told David what Nabal said, David threatened to kill Nabal and all the men in the household (1 Samuel 25:12-17). David overreacted and was about to do something that would not only harm himself emotionally but kill innocent people. His anger did not stem from this single incident alone. Nabal reopened a wound from David’s childhood when his father rejected him from the family’s anointing (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst). The grudge was so deep that David was willing to kill to make someone pay for his hurt. Nabal’s wife saved her husband and household by preparing the meal for David and making him feel welcome.
David felt like he belonged for the first time since his father’s rejection. His father “inflicted a mark on his heart that read, ‘you don’t belong'” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst). David achieved remarkable things in his lifetime, but “no amount of outside achievement fixes inside hurts” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst). “Those hurts have to be soothed by replacing the lies with truth” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst). Nabal’s wife reassured David that he was important, valuable, and secure. She asked him to forgive her husband of his actions and that he is secure in the Lord. She reminded David about his achievements and success.
This is a powerful story of rejection turning into a place of belonging. At some point in our lives, we can all relate to David’s insecurities. His fear of never belonging. David allowed his past to work against him. When we hold onto our past hurts, it causes us to hold a grudge against someone or something. We tend to overreact when a wound is reopened, and, as a result, we hurt others because of our insecurities. “Let your past rejection experiences work for you instead of against you” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).
What kind of rejections have you bottled up inside that continue to haunt you on a daily basis? What causes you to react irrationally when someone or something triggers the insecurities in your life? Rejection reminds us that we don’t belong. It is a lie from the devil that tells us we are not good enough or smart enough. The truth is, we belong to God. We have always belonged to God, because He created us. We are His children! He is our Truth!
So…what do you need to hear today to belong? Do you need to hear that you have worth? Or valued? Or Important? Or loved? What is it?! David almost killed innocent people because of past rejection. Rejection is powerful and destructible. It not only ruins our lives but those around us. I pray you find time with God this week to ask for His healing touch on the things that have hurt you in the past or even current issues. I pray you find your security in Christ and not of this world. And, finally, I pray you let go of the hurtful situations that hinder you each and every day and surrender it to God.