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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.

Important note: Everyone’s “plumbline” (which means being in alignment with God’s will for our lives), is different, God never expects us to meet anyone else’s plumbline, only the one that God has for us.

A healthy church will never ever force anyone to do anything that they are not ready or

comfortable doing, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be challenged by the Word or

the voice of Holy Spirit directly, or through teaching or other people God may use, to

encourage a person to deal with their rejection; but the choice is always up to the person.

For some that road is just too steep for them, and leave their churches, justifying it by

often blaming others or their church as to why they are leaving. (But that is another

subject for another time.)

Ultimately, either they surrender or rebellion can rise up in them in the form of a religious

spirit. Why and how you might ask? Well, when we are not obedient to Christ we end up

opening ourselves to further strongholds and blindness through our denial or refusal to

heal and grow.

When this happens a person with rejection issues will blame others, or their church, simply because they haven’t dealt with the strongholds rejection brings, and condemnation and resentment is birthed resulting in distorted perceptions of people, perpetuating the cycle all over again.

· Wrong perceptions – This is perceived rejection. This is when we distort things because

of our skewed or distorted worldview. Our minds get ‘wires crossed’ and we actually ‘see’

things the wrong way. We think people are personally attacking us, or rejecting us, when

this is perceived and mostly not true. We read things from a place of unhealed-ness and

rejection. So, we see that even those that love us as our our ‘enemy’ when we don’t deal

with our rejection.

· Making wrong assumptions – These are an offshoot of the previous point. Constantly

assuming that people are thinking or saying the worst things about us.

· Drawn to others by bad soul ties – This is something I deal with extensively in our

spiritual healing course. What happens with bad soul ties, is that when people are

unhealed in the area of the soul they can often be drawn to others needing healing in the

same areas. Many Christians think that they are being drawn because they are ‘likened in

spirit’ but very often ‘like is drawn to like’ for the wrong reasons.

We must be discerning to check our spirit and know what is from God and what is not.

An example is when someone is struggling with rejection they can become ‘rescuers’ and be drawn to others that are experiencing deep rejection issues, but instead of this being

healthy and productive, it becomes an enabling relationship, rather than an ‘equipping’

one, and it brings covenant with the wrong kind of agreement.

· Manifesting inappropriate anger – This is a classic sign of rejection. People who are

struggling with rejection issues, are not open to reason. When we believe we are

experiencing the slightest bit of rejection (even if it isn’t so), we can lash out in anger even

toward those who are innocent but happen to be in our path, and those that love us.

· Fear is also a huge component of rejection, and often people who are struggling with

rejection will reject good relationships, ‘before they get rejected’. The problem is that

most, don’t know that they are behaving out of fear. So, they just shut everyone out.

· Low self-esteem – Not only do we not love or like ourselves very much, but this causes us to think others see us in a bad light. Rejection could have been through a parent or loved one saying we would never amount to much.

Don’t let your ego or pride get in the way of dealing with stuff that needs to go, for you to


Hurting people hurt others.

An unhealed heart or a hurting heart, can hurt other people, often without realizing it.

Often these are the most sensitive people, easily offended but yet they are constantly in a

‘war’ with others and themselves.

Often, they don’t realize how their unhealed emotions are hurting other people.

The light of the LORD will help to expose darkness

That’s why often when we come to a church family, we see others, changing, it causes us to reflect on our own lives, and doors that were locked that need opening begin to open up and we can look at areas in our own lives that need changing and healing.


Because in a church environment God’s light always exposes the darkness in our lives so

that we can live in the fullness of God’s abundance & grace.We must understand that

people generally do what they do, (behaviour), because they have deeply hidden hurts, much of it they are not aware of, until they come under a good church where it is safe to explore these areas as they come to light, and they always do in an apostolic prophetic environment.

Why? Because, God doesn’t leave us where we are at, and the purpose of the church is to equip people to experience transformation into Christ’s likeness, but change can only

come when we are willing to change. (2 Cor 3:17-18).

Often with rejection, it’s the reactions to rejection that cause the most problems. Often

people make the decisions they do to avoid further ‘pain’ even if they are dysfunctional

decisions, which often leads to the spiral of further rejection.

Different Reactions to Rejection

We act out of fear and look for ways to cope, one of them could be isolating yourself, which in essence is an ‘old’ coping mechanism which comes from bad roots, and bad fruit of the old. Passive reactions are self destructive and make our situation much worse because fear causes us to ‘take control’ again leaving no room for God to work and move.

(Some I’ve discussed above)

1. Aggressive reactions – We must understand that anger, is a fruit of rejection. Rebellion

& refusing comfort is another bad fruit that can come out of rejection. The problem is not

with those who we ‘feel’ may be constantly offending us or are hurting our feelings, but it is often with us. We can develop an over-sensitive nature which comes out of rejection,

causing us to explode for the slightest thing, hurting others around us when we are angry.

Rejection of others is a protective mechanism and is the, “I will attack you before you

attack me”, syndrome. So, if I reject you before you have a chance to reject me I will feel

better. This is often projected through how they say things to others.

2. Passive Reactions – These reactions can happen when we are acting out of fear and

looking for ways to cope, one of these coping mechanisms can be isolating yourself, which in essence comes from unhealed roots. These reactions are self destructive and make our situation much worse because fear causes us to ‘take control’ again leaving no room for God to work and move.

It sends us back to that place of harvesting our rejection, in areas like feeling inadequate,

inferior, insecure, and then we don’t understand why people are rejecting us but we’ve

closed ourselves off. People can only do so much.

Even if someone who you’ve given permission to speak into your life, is helping in the area of personal correction, often even the smallest suggestion of light constructive criticism, will be seen as a form of rejection!

Even if a person is uplifting and encouraging 99% of the time, loving on you fully, if there is even just that 1% where they are mentoring you, so that you can grow, where there can be improvement, as a person dealing with rejection, your world would fall apart!

It is very difficult trying to help such people because self-hatred, unworthiness and self-

rejection are all at play in such a person’s life often leading to depression. With them being hurt from the past they totally block everyone and everything out and the cycle of

rejection is once again upon them, but self- induced.

3. Emotional numbness (Building emotional walls that are protection Mechanisms).

These are areas in our lives and emotions that we put walls around that we build to protect ourselves from further rejection.

In the bible, the word teaches us that the walls are there to keep out the enemy (Isaiah

26:1). The word says that we are supposed to be surrounded by the walls of God’s

salvation, not walls of a fortress made up of strongholds built by the enemy.

Blocking other people blocks the LORD too, even if we don’t see it that way. Closing off

some emotions closes off all our emotions, we may appear not to, because we’ve learned

the behaviour of coping, but our hearts can be numb and hurt.

In our rejection, the enemy uses the walls of your mind, as a defence mechanism to keep us from healing. It causes us to live behind walls and masks.

Striving and achievement are part of the cycle to ‘be better’ or to be seen as better, Some

factors are: independence, self centeredness, performance, deep need for acceptance

(because they derive a sense of self worth from what others think instead of developing

their own identity). Fear of failure. Withdrawal, breaking off relationships that are

important to you before you’re rejected further.

Reaching out for help:

We have to learn to reach out for help. It’s the first step to our healing. We cannot expect

others to know what we are going through. We can only do that when we are ready to:

1. acknowledge we need help

2. accept the truth of why we need help

3. Be open to receive help – walk alongside seasoned people of God, building trust

4.  Do what we need to do to change through God led counsel, the voice of Holy Spirit

guiding us and allowing the power of God to deliver us from any strongholds of


The LORD wants to not only cut the roots and pluck out what doesn’t belong in your new

being, but to grow the right roots, so that you can flourish and heal. One of the keys in my

course on spiritual healing is dealing with our identity. No matter how old or young, we

find people struggle with this issue. Really knowing who we are removes rejection.

Holy Spirit brings us freedom and deliverance from ALL our afflictions

including rejection!


Apostle Deborah Bell


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