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Overcoming Rejection – Dying to Self

By Deborah Bell

(Lead Apostle DGAN Global Network and DGFC churches)

This is not the full teaching I do on Rejection, but here are some ‘starters’ for you to chew


This teaching is full of gems if you will activate the healing from rejection in your life.

I’ve have spent many years in our ministry helping people deal with rejection in their lives.

It’s a big part of our ministry, people need emotional healing just as much, sometimes

more, than physical healing.

I want to be clear from the outset that I am not a Psychologist nor am I trying to bring this

teaching from that aspect, although some things may overlap. The perspective I’m coming from, is from a spiritual counselling & spiritual healing perspective, combined with my experience in leading ministries & helping leaders & others breakthrough in these areas as believers, over the past 30 years.

It is my hope that after reading this, if you are struggling with rejection, that you reach out

to your leaders or overseers for help and prayer and healing. Rejection is not only self

destructive but it destroys relationships around us, if we don’t deal with it and ‘pluck out’

the roots of it.

Rejection is one of the most destructive roots because it not only affects all of us in some

way; but because it can be so deeply rooted in people’s lives, that they don’t necessarily

have awareness that it’s the cause of outward symptoms and reactions they might have.

Or, people may not want to ‘go there’ in case of further rejection, which perpetuates the

cycle even further. Fear of dealing with the very thing that has them in chains, is why it can be so blinding, and that is why the door to healing is often closed, even to God.

The Scripture teaches us in Isaiah 61:1-3, that God gives us beauty for ashes, healing

instead of brokenness, freedom instead of captivity and restoration instead of destruction.

Original Intent

Rejection has never been God’s plan for our lives. We have all been created with the

original intention to flourish and prosper in all our ways, that is God’s desire for us. We live

as new creations in the fullness of Christ, through his Spirit as believers.

But this requires something on our part, and that is that we are willing to surrender the old self fully, so that we can release to God, the old in our lives, the stuff that has caused

rejection, torment and emotional trauma.

In other words, we have to be ready to ‘die’ to self’ and walk through some doors we’ve

held tightly shut, because of the pain they remind us of, and know that as we walk through them, that there is victory on the other side!


Because when you stop dying to self, you stop changing. The apostolic prophetic church is all about transformation. For us it’s the reason we are here as a Network and church, to set the captives free from the bondage of emotional oppression and lead people into victory through the power of Holy Spirit so that people can live their lives as overcomers and touch the world the same way! That’s what the power of the cross and resurrection of

Jesus is all about, so that we don’t stay the same! We don’t need Jesus if we want to stay

the same.

Dying to self, is recognizing we need God and change in our lives through God’s power,

Holy Spirit & word, as well as through the seasoned, women & men that God puts into our

lives to mentor & help to guide us, like the banks of a river guide the water. When we die to self, we die to selfishness & every oppression that comes from the old flesh, because dying to self is full surrender to God!

Mark 8:34

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."

“The spirit of rejection forms a stronghold in the mind distorting our perceptions…” – Apostle Deborah Bell

Fact: Everyone experiences some form of rejection in their life, whether they aware of it or not. The question is whether or not we are prepared to recognize it and get healing as it’s brought to light.

Often people don’t even realize how much they are in need of healing until they are

exposed to teaching and mentoring on this.

Same old same old, brings no change

Doing things the same way we’ve always done, we know gives the same results, it’s an

unending cycle. The only way to change is to become more like Jesus and we do that

through Holy Spirit’s power living inside of us.

We have to die to self!

The ‘self’ in Mark 8:34, is the flesh. It’s referring to the ‘old self’, the parts of us that don’t

have place in our lives anymore, in our soul (mind will emotions) or physical body. They

belong to the person that was B.C.(before Christ)! Ego belongs to the old self, it is not part

of the new creation

Ego belongs to the old self, it is not part of the new creation

When we find that we are so preoccupied with ourselves, talking about our own

accomplishments or defeats, or constantly making the ‘story’ about us, our ego and flesh

are still at play. It’s selfish behaviour. Selfish behaviour comes from many areas, one of the

roots can be rejection.

To understand why we do some of the things we do, let’s look at some of the signs of


Summary of 3 responses found in dealing with rejection:

(I’ll deal with these under reactions to rejection a bit later in this teaching)

1. An aggressive response often comes in the form of rebellion or anger. Very often such

people will appear to be extroverts. Their behaviour will often be manifest as

rebelliousness, & sexual promiscuity (which can be seen by them as a form of ‘love’, even

though it is a skewed and destructive perception, that brings further destruction and

shame). The need to show independence, anger and rejection of others also follows this


They will often respond outwardly to the hurts of rejection tend to live life with a defiant

or even a rebellious type attitude. (Rebellion is a form of ‘having’ control).

2. A passive response which comes out of self-rejection, fear. This is usually a person who is an introvert or someone that responds inwardly. Their behaviour will often be ‘approval-seeking’ in nature, appear to be submissive and often accompanied by loneliness, and depression.

3. Emotional Numbness: Building emotional walls. This acts as a protective mechanism,

where people tend to isolate themselves emotionally, to counter fear of further rejection.

What destroys people struggling with rejection, is not rejection itself but their reactions to it!

Here are some forms of rejection

· Need for control – This is where a person will fight everything oppositional. It’s the

‘struggle’ within.

James 4:1–2 (NIV) – “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.”

Overcompensation – Overcompensating behaviour happens when we fear the future. It

means to: take excessive measures in attempting to correct or make amends for an error,

weakness, or problem. We do this when we have experienced rejection and not dealt with it. It causes us to act with AVOIDANCE. We work ‘around’ things rather than dealing with our issues, and it causes unhealthy overcompensation.

· Resentment, hatred, then rebellion (Often unfounded & built on unrealistic expectation & wrong perceptions. I’ll deal with this later).

· Self-destructive behaviour (Self-loathing).

· Defensive (protective mechanism)

· Pride (Covering up our issues & denial, wearing a mask)

· Perfectionism (The need to continually strive /need for acceptance and control)

· Emotional immaturity (No healthy role models or refusing to change or grow)

Signs of us needing healing in areas of rejection are:

· Attention seeking behaviour forms part of rejection. It can come from neglect in childhood, factors in the home, not feeling loved, or not experiencing a healthy childhood, it can be generational. It’s really just a mask and it’s a very unhealthy way of ‘asking for help’.

Many don’t realize they are doing it, until they are open to godly counsel. The big ‘but’

though, is learning to ask for help because we acknowledge we need healing.

· Unrealistic expectations – These are expectations placed on people that we think should happen which are often unrealistic because of our own hurt. They are formed from distortions in our minds, and they compensate for rejection experienced in our own lives.

· Oversensitivity to situations – We are hurt by everything, people feel like they are

treading on glass all around us.

· Blaming others – This is a big one. Rejection can be such a deep-rooted issue that even

taking responsibility for our own wrong actions causes us to feel like a failure, rejection yet again, because we can’t see it in a healthy way. So, we blame others, instead of

acknowledging our own wrongdoing and changing. – Blame is releasing the discomfort of dealing with a situation by putting the blame on someone else.

· A Religious spirit – This can be a sign of rejection for some people. Often those who have rejection issues but that don’t want to change or acknowledge or deal with their rejection, go into denial and can become religious about the ‘new’ that God is doing in their midst because where the power of God is in operation, God propels us forward, and the demonic realm is always exposed. When people don’t want to change from the place of the old, this makes them feel uncomfortable, especially when others are moving forward and they are not.