Rejection and Acceptance
Identity Crisis – Lesson 2 of the “Overcome” Addiction Recovery Study Guide
To whom do we look to give us our self-worth? For some of us it may be our family and for others it may be their job. Relationships, professions and possessions will ultimately fail to satisfy our need for acceptance. With an inaccurate view of ourselves and our importance, we often do things we really don’t want to in efforts to obtain love and the feeling of security.
Rejection is a rather sensitive subject and must be handled accordingly, just like plutonium. To put it quite bluntly, as a doctor, I have horrible bedside manner. Sometimes I tell people they have to get over things. But in this case, this isn’t something that you can get over or go around. You can’t expect it to go away and not affect life anymore. The only way is through it. Ignoring it and trying to bury it will only disguise it. Our actions and thoughts will always undermine our intentions if we do not acknowledge the block and deal with it head-on.
The Security of our Identity
Succinctly, rejection and acceptance are ultimately questions of the security of our identity. The answer lurks in what we value, what we are willing to sacrifice for and what we find our personal worth in. and the easiest way to find this out is by filling in the blank below:
__________ gives me a sense of worth.
This topic is my personal issue. This drives my want to isolate. This affects me daily, but it was only after I became aware of it, I saw how much it has affected me. Much of what I did was to be accepted by the worlds’ standards, by other humans and I learned it because of rejection at home in childhood. That’s why it is so important to acknowledge it and address it before we reproduce it as adults. Rejection leads us to look other places to be fulfilled, and that is usually the wrong thing.
We have a worldly identity and a Godly identity, and we are building one or the other. Period. There is almost always a gap between these two and depending on the circumstance, most of us lean one way or the other. The further we lean to one, the more acceptance we have from that one and rejection we feel from the other. Rejection is far reaching and entrenching. Rejection will undermine progress, motivation and purpose in your life. Rejection breeds rejection. It’s like a virus, and it is generational.
First, write down the first three questions that come to mind that you would ask during a casual conversation to get to know them better. This should be easier than the following question.
Next, write down three questions you wish someone would ask you during that same type of conversation. Little trickier, isn’t it?
Some people are great at dialoging even with a complete stranger. Whether or not we want to admit it, we are judging and assigning value to others, the problem is we usually do this subconsciously by assigning worth to what they value; are they similar to me, do I want to know more about them or move on. We label them.
Speaking of labels, what labels has the world given you in the past? What were you known for? Spend some time and think about this exercise. Write them down, we are going to come back to them in a minute. When we attach labels, consciously or unconsciously, we are judging and assigning value, even to ourselves, especially when we get rejected because of the grimy and gritty past.
To fully understand the context of this scripture, I encourage you to read the entirety of John chapter 6. But here is the build-up: Jesus has fed 5000 and performed many miracles. He is promising to not only take care of their earthly needs, but their spiritual and eternal needs. The crowd is festive and loving Him and ready to make Him king…
All that the father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.John 6:37
Notice the first word in verse 6:37- All. Many people adopt the false reality that they have to clean themselves up before coming to Christ. That’s not how it works… Jesus knows all the grime and grit already. Jesus will always be there to not only accept you, but to repair you, to equip you. He doesn’t call us to clean ourselves up before we come to Him. He calls us as we are, not based on our works but His work.
Rejection of Jesus
Picking back up where we left off, Jesus has fed a couple thousand people, and departed to the other side of the sea. The very next day, they see Him on the other side and rush across the water to Him. However, He draws a line in the sand by saying that no one can come to the father but by Him, whom the Father has sent. And before too long, the entire scene changes…
He calls them out for only wanting what they can get from Him. By the end of John 6, many of the ones looking to get something from Jesus would turn their back on Him and no longer follow. This rejection is coming from a group, from the public; ones who really didn’t know or understand Him. They came to Him for miracles, to be healed and fed, but that was all they wanted. They were only accepting Him because of His works and what He did for them, it wasn’t based on their belief. A rejection that was prophesied:
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.Isaiah 53:3
Overcome Addiction Recovery Study Guide
Application – Adopting a New Label
Earlier I asked you to list out the labels the world has given you. Those are the choices that Jesus died for, to bring us back into a right relationship with the father. Our acceptance from Jesus is not based on works, but belief. It is not based on performance or possessions, but faith. Jesus’ acceptance is not like waiting on a raise at work that never comes or approval from a spouse or being asked to join some club. It is the belief that Jesus is who He said He is. Think about what we have discussed and look at your list again. I want you to notice one more word in our verse of John 6:37. The word – whoever. Now, I want you to mark through each one of those labels the world has given you and write beside it whoever. Trust in the words All and whoever. John 6:37 is a beautiful promise and proclamation that you are unique, a special part of God’s plan here on Earth, for your sphere of influence, that He “will never cast out.” You are worth the price He paid on the cross because of His great love for you.
The “Overcome” Addiction Recovery Study Guide is part of the discipleship program at First Contact Ministries in Hendersonville, NC.
Did you miss the other lessons in this series? Click see the entire the “Overcome” Addiction Recovery Study Guide.
We always look forward to meeting new people at our Tuesday night support group meetings at 6:30 pm, located at Mud Creek Church in Hendersonville, NC. Our classes are designed to teach biblical principles for addiction recovery through discipleship. Our goal is to show the love of Jesus by supporting those who need it most.
For more information or to purchase “The Resistance” by Josh Staton to use as a Christian leadership book, or curriculum for an addiction recovery class, please visit: The Resistance: Becoming A Servant Leader Through the Beatitudes Christian Leadership Book