God’s Love and Fear
The fear of rejection comes from all directions: your marriage, your family, your parents, at school, at work, from former friends, from disappointments, from criticisms, from a look. Have you ever seen a look kill somebody? Have you ever seen a parent manipulate a kid with an eyebrow? Fear of rejection can hinder your life in many ways.
The fear of rejection prevents us from giving and receiving love. Past hurts prevent future relationships. One man says, “I got burned on a hot stove. I’ll never touch it again!” People say that about relationships: “I got burned in a marriage. I’ll never get married again!” The problem is, people are not stoves. They change. Your fear of rejection is based and rooted in two things. One is the idea that we all need to be loved. That’s a fact. We do. We all desperately need massive doses of love in our lives to be healthy individuals.
God says, “I want to love you.” God is love. You need to be loved. That is a deep and profound need that you have. What causes the fear of rejection is the false idea that we think that other people ought to be able to fully meet that need in our lives. When you expect somebody else to meet all your need for love, you’re asking for trouble. You’re setting yourself up for hurt. You’re setting yourself up for rejection.
You have to put God in first place, because He’s the only one who can ultimately meet all your needs. Does God ever use other people? Sure. 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. Human love is limited. God’s love is unlimited, unconditional. No matter how deep your need is, He can fill it. And He never runs dry.
God’s Salvation and Fear
David says in Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation. I will fear no one” (GNT). God is described in two ways: as light and as salvation.
Yet many Christians live their lives in fear of rejection, completely ignoring the fact that if God is our salvation, then we have nothing to fear — not even losing the approval of those around us. Living for the approval of others is a miserable way to live. It will cripple your life. But God is your light and salvation!
Light does three things: 1. It illuminates and lets you see things more clearly. 2. It protects and provides a source of security. 3. It energizes you. David is saying in Psalm 27 that his relationship with God has the same three effects as light, so he’s not going to be afraid. Do you have a relationship with God like that? If you don’t, you’re probably susceptible to the fear of rejection.
To overcome the fear of rejection, you have to realize that the Lord is your light and salvation, not anyone else. Don’t look for anybody else to brighten up your day. Don’t look for anybody else to save your life. The Lord is your light and salvation. Psalm 119:39-42 says, “Save me from the insults I fear … I want to obey Your commands … Show me how much you love me, Lord, and save me according to your promise. Then I can answer those who insult me.”
Here’s the thing: There is no fear in love. When you understand how deeply God loves you, it will simplify your life. It will illuminate, protect, and energize you. Bask in the light of God’s love. Let it save you from a lifetime of fear.
Adapted from Rick Warren © 2012