Tuesday, July 19, 2016
How Expensive is the Fear of Rejection?
Another person less qualified than Paulette is also desiring the position and her name is Danielle. Danielle is confident that she will get the promotion, but only if Paulette doesn't apply for the position. Danielle knows that Paulette isn't a very confident soul, so she decides to approach her.
Danielle: Hey you! I really need your prayers. I am going to apply for Mrs. Burnett's old position and from what I've heard, I have one other person standing in my way. I think it's Mr. Slater and we both know that I'm more qualified than him, so definitely keep me in prayers.
Paulette: Oh wow. I didn't know that you were interested in the position too. Well... I'll definitely be praying for you.
Danielle: Thanks, girl. You know I really need this. After Jason left me and the kids, it's been really hard, but we've managed to get by. This promotion would really help us to get back on our feet. I was just telling a friend of mine the other day that I was on the brink of being homeless... not once, but twice! So, getting this promotion would really help me out big time. If I get the position, you know I'm gonna be looking out for you. I definitely see a raise in your future. Fingers crossed... please keep me in your prayers.
Paulette: Okay. Will do.
With that, Danielle walks away. She's successfully manipulated the already fearful Paulette and of course, Paulette decides not to apply for the position. A week later, Danielle is promoted to assistant manager and her first order of business is to get rid of what she sees as her biggest competition: Paulette. From the very moment that Danielle steps into her new office, her main focus is on monitoring Paulette so that she could get her terminated. Three months later, Paulette receives her final pink slip and is terminated from the job. Before terminating Paulette, Mrs. Crenshaw (the office manager), expresses her disappointment in Paulette.
Mrs. Crenshaw: You know, I had big hopes for you, Paulette. At one time, you were the best sales clerk that this office had ever seen. I bragged about you everywhere I went. You single-handedly helped to keep this office's numbers up. When Mrs. Burnett's position came open, I was sure you would apply for it and I would have given you that job without a second thought. When you didn't apply, I was highly disappointed. Howbeit, you stepped aside and let Danielle take your place, and ironically enough, it was Danielle who pointed out all of your errors. Her motives may be questionable, but she's in the right position to review your work and reprimand you. This was your own doing and it was your undoing. Hopefully, you'll take this lesson with you in life and learn to step out on the very faith you so unashamedly preach about in the lounge everyday.
What happened to Paulette? She feared rejection so she let a sure opportunity slip through her fingers. Danielle simply gave her a light nudge and it was enough to push her off the cliff of what little faith she did have. Believe it or not, stories like this are common, and not just in the workplace, but in life as a whole. There are many people who pass up great opportunities each and everyday simply because they fear rejection.
Having suffered through parental rejection as a child, I was once afraid of rejection myself. I hated being rejected, but I hated fear more so I would always confront my fears (for the most part). I did this because I wanted to get past them. I didn't do this to become a better person (I was young so I didn't over analyze anything). I confronted my fears because I didn't like being afraid of anything. After all I'd gone through, I felt the need to be strong... or at least, strong enough to defend myself should my fears come upon me. Truthfully, I can say that I hated fear so much that I would always confront whatsoever it was that I feared unless that fear had graduated to terror. For example, I was terrified of large (deep) bodies of water, so I never learned to swim, but that did not stop me from going fishing and falling in the lake a few times after trying to get too close to the water. This is to say, of course, that the spirit of fear ALWAYS allies itself with the spirit of rejection, but we all deal with our strongholds differently. I dealt with mine by confronting them, whereas, some people deal with rejection by not pursuing whatever and whomever it is they feel has the potential to reject them.
The fear of rejection is one of the most expensive strongholds to have. It has cost many people jobs, careers, promotions, marriages, children, and many many great opportunities. Somehow, the enemy has convinced many inside and outside of the church that they are not good enough for whatever it is or whomever it is that they are desiring. It is not uncommon for me to hear a woman say that she rejected a man out of fear that he would someday reject her. Additionally, it is not uncommon for me to see men who are too afraid to approach the women that they are interested in simply because they fear being rejected by them. As a single woman, I've had a few guys to express interest in getting to know me, but ironically enough, the ones who did approach me were the ones that I was not interested in. Then again, there were two or three who flirted with me that I did like, but they never approached me. One guy seemed to be trying to get his gall up, but every time he got within a few feet of me, he'd freeze up and jog away. Every now and again, he would speak to me, make his way towards me, and then, the fear of rejection would end up ordering his steps when he noticed that I wasn't being as open and direct as he needed me to be. Another guy would always stare at me and smile. He couldn't seem to get past himself. He'd speak, stare, smile and wait, hoping that I'd initiate a courtship. That wasn't going to happen because I believe (and this is my own conviction) that a man should pursue a woman and not the other way around. Because of this, I smiled, waved and walked away. Men like that oftentimes want a welcome mat and a sign; they want to know for sure that if they approach you, you will not reject them, so most of their past relationships were initiated by a third party. One of their friends had to do the talking for them and once they saw that the women in their sights were also interested in them, they felt confident enough to approach or call them. Additionally, men who fear rejection don't usually "surprise" their women by proposing to them. The women in their lives will oftentimes know that their soon-to-be fiances are going to propose to them. How so? Because they fear rejection, the guys will oftentimes talk about marriage to the woman and will go so far as to leave clues that they are about to propose to them. Again, the fear of rejection is truly and expensive stronghold to have.
Amazingly enough, the fear of rejection does not go away once we get married; after all, it is a spirit. As a matter of fact, people suffering with the fear of rejection will find that their fears of being rejected are intensified when dealing with matters of the heart. For example, a married man who is bound by the spirit of fear and the fear of rejection will oftentimes be an insecure husband who questions his wife's every move. In many cases, men like that abuse their wives because they fear that their wives will someday reject them. The same goes for women. When a married woman is bound by the spirit of fear and the fear of rejection, she will be insecure, possessive, controlling, overly emotional and just plain ole hard to live with. That's why it is necessary for us to make sure that we are free from every demonic personality and stronghold that is binding us or has bound us in the past. We need to do this while we are still single.
When I was in my early twenties, I worked at Walmart. I knew that I wasn't going to stay at that company all of my life because I had big dreams... dreams that could not and would not be fulfilled on such limited pay. I remember telling a few of my friends that we should all go back to school and start our own businesses. There was no break between my question and the eruption of laughter from my friends. They thought I was young, naive and the light in my eyes had not yet been dimmed by the sure-to-come obstacle that we call living in the real world. Nevertheless, I was not swayed. I didn't go back to school, but I didn't give up on having a better life either. I took a lot of risks... some of them were good and some were not so good, but I gathered wisdom from every chance I decided to take. I wasn't afraid of failure; I was afraid of complacency. I didn't allow my lack of a college degree to stop me from pursuing my dreams.
What I've learned is that many people have been knocked down by rejection at some point in their lives (as we all have), but unlike those who've overcome rejection, these people refused to get back up. They became comfortable in the very pits in which they fell into. The truth is... most people (even in the church) are now living in their pits! They're too afraid to climb out of these pits because they don't want to walk away from the people who opened their lives and their hearts to them. In other words, they don't want to feel like they've rejected the people who once accepted them. They have become loyal to their pits and the people therein, not understanding that being promoted out of a pit does not necessarily mean you have to reject the people who once helped you. It means that you are shifted into a new place where you may not be allowed (by God) to have the relationships you once had with them, BUT you are in a better place to help your friends and loved ones by providing an opportunity for promotion to them if God is willing. Look at Joseph. He went from the pit to the palace and from there, he was able to help his family out during a time of famine, even though his brothers had done much evil to him. Can you imagine what would have happened if Joseph had allowed the rejection he'd suffered through from his own family to stop him from interpreting the Pharaoh's dreams? The answer is clear... he would have likely died in prison! The truth is... many graveyards are FULL of people who died in bondage! They died in their prisons!
Another reason people refuse to leave their pits is because they've grown comfortable with monotony. They've learned to master their own lives by staying away from anything that threatens the routines that they call life. They are afraid to walk out of a place where they know that they are accepted and into a place that's not so welcoming to new faces, so they reason with themselves that the lives they are living are the portions that God has allotted for them. Even though their portions are small, they convince themselves that by being content with the little they have, they are somehow pleasing God. The truth is... God loves promoting His people and that's why He shared the parable of the talents (read Matthew 25:14-30). In this parable, He refers to the servants who increased their talents as "faithful servants", whereas, He refers to the servant who buried his talent as "lazy."
Today, there are many Josephs still living in their prisons because they've allowed the spirit of rejection to shape their worlds for them. The fear of rejection has cost them their opportunities to live in the palaces that God has prepared for them. How much has the fear of rejection cost you? Think about it. What blessings have you rejected because you believed that you weren't good enough to have them or wise enough to keep them? You'd be amazed at how many opportunities you've turned away simply because you allowed fear to change how you see yourself.
But how does one get over the fear of rejection? First and foremost, you get the understanding you need about rejection and you find out how that spirit entered your life. You can never close a door that you are not aware of, so to close that demonic access door, you need to know where it is and how it came to be. Of course, this is something you ask God to reveal to you.
Next, repent of every one of your sins, but not before confessing to God what you know to be a stronghold in your life. When you admit to being bound, you acknowledge that you need to be set free... not just to God, but to yourself. A lot of people stay bound because they've somehow learned to convince themselves that they are free, but the limitations of their freedom are just their portions in life. This deception is common, self-inflicted and it can be fatal. Be honest with yourself and it is only then that you will learn to be honest with God.
Lastly, set your will against the spirits of fear and rejection. Speak to them; tell them that they are no longer welcome in your life, bind them and command them to leave in Jesus name. Be sure to ask the Holy Spirit to fill you in the areas those spirits once occupied. Do this as often as you can to ensure you that you stay free.
For me, my weapon of choice is confrontation. I like to confront my fears because I don't like closed spaces, be they natural or spiritual. To me, fear represents a small cage or a large prison; either way, the person bound by fear is limited in their movements and in their thinking. Fear even limits the way we dream. Kings dream of castles because they've lived in castles, but everyday people rarely dream of themselves outside of the limited spaces that they've learned to call home or the spaces that they've visited. Because of this, I am no longer afraid of being rejected; I actually welcome it and for good reason. The reason for this is I now have a different view of rejection. I no longer see it is a bad thing. I believe that if a person rejects me, it is because I'm not supposed to be tied to that person in the way that I'm attempting to link myself to that person. At the same time, if I am supposed to be linked to that person, I believe that their rejection of me either means that I'm trying to connect to them in the wrong season OR they may be bound so they cannot see who I am at that particular time. So, for me, their rejection of me isn't a bad thing; it's a God thing. That's why I don't get offended by rejection. I just move on and I don't allow their rejection of me to shape how I see myself, my God-given assignment or how I see them. When it comes to opportunities, my mindset is the same... what God has for me is for me. If it wasn't mine to start it, it won't be mine in the end.
Don't let the fear of rejection limit you to a lifestyle or a mindset. Confront your fears so that you can overcome them. After you've confronted and overcome several of your fears, you will see confronting your fears as a sport and you will teach fear to fear you. Whatever it is that you want (if it's in the will of God), go after it NOW! Whomever it is that you want (if a courtship with them is in the will of God), go after them NOW! Don't let Danielle steal your promotion! Don't let the fear of rejection keep you in your pit! The way to overcome a stronghold is to tackle it as soon as you recognize the strongman that's been binding you! Don't let the fear of rejection cost you another dime, day or another opportunity. Go and get your stuff and stop making excuses!