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Creating Your Own Rejection

Some people never realize that they themselves are the source of their own rejection. The pastor of a large congregation in Dallas told me about his friend who had visited his church. His friend told the pastor that he wanted to measure the church’s friendliness. “I’ll stand in the foyer of your church, and I’m almost certain that no one will shake my hand.”

The pastor replied, “We have a friendly church. I know that our members will greet you.”

            After the church service, his friend stood in the foyer as hundreds of people walked past him. After everyone had left, the pastor asked, “Well, did anyone shake your hand?”

            “Not a single person.”

            The pastor was dumbfounded. “What did you do? You must have done something to keep them from meeting you.”

            His friend explained that he performed an experiment. “Every time someone started to approach me, I simply looked away and gave the impression I didn’t want to meet them. They could sense I was rejecting them, so they turned and walked away.”

            This man demonstrated why some people never form close friendships. They initiate their own rejection by rolling out an unwelcome mat toward others—using gestures like frowning, looking away, crossing arms, or staring at the floor. If this man had warmly smiled at those approaching him, he would have met a number of people.

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, 46-47)

Man's Rejection Can Be God's Direction

"Man's rejection can be God's direction.  God sometimes uses the rejection of hateful people to move us to a new place or assignment--where we wouldn't have thought of going on our own.  He must slam the door in our face through rejection to get us to look in another direction.  Then when we get to that new place, we thank God for the rejection rather than being bitter about it." --Kent Crockett
Kent Crockett's Sermon Illustrations,

A Compliment or an Insult?

I once knew a woman with a history of rejection who was always suspicious of others’ motives. A friend once complimented her by saying, “You look nice today.”

The woman replied, “Are you saying that I don’t look nice every day? You said I look nice today. That must mean you think I don’t look good on other days.”

Her puzzled friend said, “No, I didn’t mean that. I just think your dress looks nice. I didn’t mean . . . ”

“Well, I don’t know how to take it any other way. You think I look bad most of the time, don’t you?”

Because of her twisted perspective, this woman turned a compliment into an insult. Do you see how viewing others through rejection glasses can sabotage relationships?

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, 49)

Rejection is in the Eye of the Beholder

A young salesman became discouraged because he had been rejected by so many customers he approached. He asked a more experienced salesman for some advice.


“Why is it that every time I make a call on someone I get rejected?”


“I just don’t understand that,” answered the older salesman. “I’ve been hit on the head, called dirty names, and thrown out the door, but I’ve never been rejected.”


Rejection isn’t what happens to us but how we interpret what happens to us.

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, 44)

Cross Reference:

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again

A Broken Engagement

Dr. Seuss Rejected by 27 Publishers