Stop Worrying about This When it Comes to Your Relationship with God

God and rejection are two things that don’t go together when it comes to your relationship with him.

Today I want to talk about fear of rejection when it comes to your relationship with God. You know that you want an intimate relationship with God. But when you make mistakes, sometimes you feel too dirty for a God that is holy and perfect, and that can get in the way of you growing spiritually. It can get in the way of you trusting him and getting close to him because you think you’re too dirty. 

Believing you’re too much of a mess to ever be close to God. You wonder what kind of God is going to want to be with you or have anything to do with you because of all the things that you have done wrong in your past. This is something that I have personal experience with and I know that so many women in our community are struggling with as well. I wanted to make sure that we had a little conversation about this because you don’t have to stay stuck in this place. There is hope, there is a way out, and we’re going to talk about it today. 

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I don’t know about you, but goodness, I swear that shame is a thing that gets me so many times. There was a season in my life where I literally felt too dirty for God.  I couldn’t do anything right. I had committed all of the most horrible sins ever, at least in my mind. And there was just no way that God would want to be close to me. Who would want to get to know me with all of this stuff in my past?

Praise God, I was able to work through all of that, and God worked in my heart and I was able to find healing and renewal and restoration for those things. I know how hard that is. I know what it’s like to kind of look at yourself in the mirror and not be proud or happy with what you see. I know what it’s like to avoid looking at yourself in the mirror because of how dirty and awful you feel. 

I’ve been there and I’ve heard from so many of you that you’re in this same spot and I just wanted to be a source of encouragement and a testament. It is possible to overcome that. There is life on the other side. You do not have to be stuck in this spiral of shame and doubt. It’s not somewhere you’ve got to stay. There is hope. And if you don’t believe me, all you need to do is read through the gospel of John and you will see time and time again women whom Jesus encountered while he was here on earth, who were being rejected because of things in their past or their present. 

Look at the woman who was caught in the act of adultery and you can see that he saw her, didn’t condemn her, or put shame on her. He saw all of them, he loved them, he embraced them, and he does the same thing for you and me today. 

So what does fear of rejection look like? It’s a cousin to fear of intimacy. Fear of intimacy is when you don’t want to reveal your true self to God which keeps you at a distance from him. Fear of rejection is a little bit like. Believing that he’s not going to want you because of what you’ve done. It is rooted in shame. There’s guilt and conviction and there’s condemnation and shame. They’re similar, but they are not the same at all. Guilty is akin to the conviction that we feel as children of God.

The Holy Spirit convicts you and says, “Hey, what you’re doing is not right. You’re getting out of God’s plan and path for you.” That’s a good thing because that drives you to repentance, which drives you back to God. That’s how you renew your relationship and restore your relationship with God. You need to have that conviction in your life letting you know when you’re getting out of line. 

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What you don’t want is condemnation and shame. Guilt will say, what you did was wrong. It was wrong for you to think that thought. It was wrong for you to go off on that person. It was wrong of you to yell at your kid. Condemnation and shame say that you’re wrong. The difference is one thing is speaking to your actions, saying, you need to get right with God because of this action or this choice that you’ve made.

The other thing attacks your identity, who you are. Shame says “I am wrong. I am dirty. I am the problem. I am the mistake.” You can make different choices, better choices, but you can’t fix yourself. You need God for that. When you have a fear of being rejected you tell yourself things like: I’m so awful. I’m so dirty. I’m so sinful that there’s no way that God is going to want to have anything to do with me. That often leads to fear of intimacy

My 2 favorite accounts in scripture are great examples of this: the woman at the well and the woman with the issue of blood. Both of these women had a messy past. One had an affliction that left her literally unclean for 12 years, and the other just had made really bad choices in her past. All of this left them as outcasts in society. But they had a place when they met Jesus. He did not reject them.

He embraced them and was like, no, I’m here for you. I love you. I see you. I have plans for you. Go check out those accounts in scripture if you want a little bit of encouragement. When you are in a place where you are afraid of rejection, when you feel like your mistakes are too bad or you feel too dirty to be with God, this is an attack on your identity. You lack confidence in your identity in Christ.

When you lack confidence in who you are, it really is a lack of confidence in who God is because your identity comes from God. You are who you are in Christ because of who God is. God is a healer, therefore, you are healed. God sent his son down to die for your sins so that you could be redeemed and restored. What you’ve got to do is grow and build your confidence in God by learning, studying, and allowing him to reveal to you who he is. 

Take the woman at the well. When Jesus revealed himself as the living water that he had been talking to her about, suddenly everything changed for her. When the woman with the issue of blood had a revelation of God as a healer, she was confident that God could heal her even if he didn’t speak to her, look at her, or touch her. She knew if she could just touch the hem of his garment she would be healed. She was confident in that.

That reflected in her identity because she was healed. She was made whole. You’ve got to take time to dig deep into the word of God and deal with your stuff. I know that there’s stuff in your past, but don’t let it dictate who you are. Don’t let your circumstances and your past cloud your vision of God. You don’t need to look at God through the lens of your situation or circumstances. He’s far beyond that and outside of that. 

Ground yourself in scripture. Read through the book of Psalms and study who God is, who he says that he is because there are so many names and attributes throughout scripture. Psalms is heavy in that. When you become confident in who God is, you then become confident in who you are. He will tell you who you are. When you learn more about God and are confident in who he is, then you begin to have confidence in yourself.

You can get past shame because knowing who you are in Christ is how you defeat shame. The second thing is that you’ve got to have a proper perspective of your past. In Philippians, Paul talks about not looking behind you, and keeping your eyes forward. That’s what I’m talking about. If you’re so focused on your mistakes and what you’ve done in the past you’re missing the point. 

You cannot be close to God who is right there with you wanting to take you forward if you’re constantly looking at your mistakes and your past. The Bible says when you go to God to repent and ask for forgiveness, he remembers it no more. You’ve got to learn how to do that for yourself and not keep going back to what you did wrong or the mistake that you made. Learn from it. Take lessons from it. But you’ve got to move forward.

You can’t go forward if you’re looking behind you. You’re going to trip and fall over your own stuff because you’re not keeping your eyes forward and you’re not keeping your eyes on God and where he wants to take you. God has already accepted you and loves you. He’s there waiting for you, saying come to me. If you’re dirty, if you made a mistake just come. He already accepts you. He already loves you. He created you. He knows you.

He knows everything that you’ve done, everything that you’re going to do, he knows it all and he still loves you and accepts you. The beauty of building a relationship with God is that he will sort all of that stuff out that you’re worried about. All of that stuff that you have guilt about. All the stuff that you’re feeling, even the shame about all your mistakes. 

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Your past doesn’t offend God and rejection is not possible because he loves you too much.

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