"The LORD is my light and my salvation; I will fear no one. The LORD protects me from all danger; I will never be afraid." (Psalm 27:1 TEV)
The fear of rejection is based on two things. First, we all need to be loved. That's a fact. We all desperately need massive doses of love in our life to be healthy individuals. God says, "I want to love you." God is love, and he knows you need to be loved.
But, second, we develop the false idea that our need to be loved is solely dependent upon one person or a group of people. When you expect someone else to meet 100 percent of your need for love, you're asking for trouble. You're setting yourself up for hurt and opening the door for the fear of rejection. When you look to any other person besides God to meet all your love needs, he or she can't. There is no human being alive that can love you as completely and as fully as you need to be loved, and there never will be. Only God can do that.
So, the first step in overcoming the fear of rejection is to put God in first place, because he's the only one who can ultimately meet all your needs.
Does God ever love us through other people? Of course. Does God want us to love others? Yes. Does he want to use us as channels of love? Absolutely.
But, you will never have all your needs met by any person or group of people. God never meant it to be that way. They just don't have enough love. Human love is limited. God's love is unlimited and unconditional. No matter how deep your need is, he can fill it.
The first step in overcoming the fear of rejection is realizing the Lord, not anyone else, is your light and salvation: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; I will fear no one. The LORD protects me from all danger; I will never be afraid” (Psalm 27:1 TEV). This means I look to the Lord to brighten my day, so I am not dependent on others to make or break my day. I look to the Lord to save my life, so I am not dependent on others to accept or reject me.
And this means I need no longer be afraid.
The key to assertiveness is not to psych yourself up, not to be aggressive and live in a selfish way, but to understand how deeply God loves you. When that really sinks in, you’ll be able to say, “God loves me, and if you don't like me, that's your problem!”
The secret of simplifying life is saying, "I'm going to do what pleases God. If I do that, it sure simplifies life. And, if I please God, it's always the right thing to do. It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks."
Talk About It
- Whom have you been trying to please? What has been the result?
- What practical changes can you make to ensure you are doing what pleases God?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.