Countless people struggle with self-hatred and self-rejection. It is impossible to be happy or satisfied with life when you hate or reject yourself. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God and to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31. If you do not love yourself, you cannot keep God’s command to love your neighbor.
How do you know if you have self-hatred? Here are some common signs:
You regularly curse yourself with words or thoughts such as “I hate myself,” “I'm so stupid,” “Nobody loves me,” or “I'm so ugly.”
You are often sick. Sickness can be a sign that a spirit in you is attacking your body.
You practice cutting, you have suicidal thoughts or have made suicidal attempts, you self-harm, self-sabotage, over-eat, or starve yourself.
You tend to isolate and lack friendships.
You are easily insulted or offended
You are restless
The root lie of self-rejection is, “I’m not good enough.” Christians often struggle to see through this problem because Reformed theology has taught us to emphasize our unworthiness before God. The Reformers were eager to emphasize that we cannot put God in our debt by doing good works, practicing piety, penance (self-inflicted or enforced punishment), or buying favor with God. While this truth is fundamental, it has been significantly misunderstood and distorted.
Good Enough For Love
We cannot put God in our debt, and if we present our attempts at holiness as the basis for which God should accept us, all of our “righteous deeds” will be seen as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). However, it is not true that we are not good enough for love. The root of all self-rejection is the belief that we are not lovable.
Emotional, physical, verbal, sexual, and spiritual abuse brings a strong sense of rejection because it is rejection and opens the door to spirits of rejection. Abuse is the most common root cause of the belief that we are not lovable.
Everyone is Abused, and an Abuser
The Bible says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. Sin is abuse. Sin is treating someone or something beneath the dignity God assigned to it. Every sin committed is against someone; therefore, every human being deals with issues of rejection because we have all been abused, and we have all abused. Every single person wrestles with spirits of rejection, with no exceptions.
The Spirit of Offense
One of the most common signs of a spirit of rejection is offense. You are easily offended. Everywhere you go, it seems that people hurt you, betray you, and abandon you. Your friendships don’t last, and you bounce from church to church until you stop going altogether. You isolate more and more because you feel offended everywhere and by everyone, and you never stop to ask why. You estranged your kids, your marriage is difficult, your friendships fall apart, and you can’t seem to change anything. You have a spirit of rejection, which opened the door to a spirit of offense, and the spirit of offense opened the door to the fear of abandonment because people keep leaving you.
Divorce is also a major contributor to the perpetration of rejection. Children of divorced parents experience rejection. Ex-spouses feel the hurt of rejection. Many of the events leading up to divorce were traumatic moments of rejection. Betrayal, pornography, lying, unfaithfulness, selfishness, cruelty, word curses, etc., all contribute to the beliefs that you are not lovable, you are not good enough, nobody loves you, and you are rejected.
You are offended all the time because your core personal belief is: “I am rejected,” I am not good enough,” and “Nobody loves me.”
Offended by Jesus
It's been said that the Gospel of Jesus is offensive.
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” Romans 9:33 ESV
The Gospel isn't offensive because God isn't good. The Gospel is offensive because we have a spirit of rejection and even grace offends us. But today, you can gain the victory over rejection, in Jesus’ name.
Jesus Experienced More Rejection Than You
Even Jesus experienced rejection.
John’s gospel says,
“He came to His own, and His own people did not accept Him.” John 1:11 NASB
“even His brothers did not believe in Him.” John 7:5 NASB
The prophet Isaiah said,
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Isaiah 53:3 NIV
Jesus was verbally abused and cursed, emotionally abused and tormented, physically abused and tortured, sexually abused by exposure, and spiritually abused by betrayal.
Right before Judas, Jesus’ disciple betrayed Him, Jesus prophesied that it would happen.
Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.” John 13:21 NIV
The Psalmist prophesied this moment and emphasized the depth of betrayal in his poem:
For it is not an enemy who taunts me,
Then I could endure it;
Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me,
Then I could hide myself from him.
But it is you, a man my equal,
My companion and my confidant;
We who had sweet fellowship together,
Walked in the house of God among the commotion.
Psalm 55:12-14 NASB
Jesus was hurt the most by those who were closest to Him, which is true for all of us. Jesus’ suffering was by design because He was deliberately taking our curse of rejection on Himself.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written: “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”
Galatians 3:13 NASB
Jesus experienced more rejection than you because He received the curse of your rejection, plus the curse of everyone else’s rejection. Jesus took on our curses because He loves us and values us. By His words and deeds, Jesus declares that God the Father loves us and values us enough to suffer in our place in the form of Jesus, His second self. The cycle of rejection finally breaks on the person of Jesus through the power of love and self-sacrifice.
Freedom from “Not Good Enough.”
Here are the facts about your life: You did not choose to exist. You did not approach God with the idea of existence. God knew who you were before long before you were conscious. You are not the cause of your existence.
You don't exist because your parents wanted you to exist. Your parents may or may not have wanted a baby, but even if they did, they did not and could not choose you. Even with the creepy possibilities of modern science gene-editing technology, scientist can only manipulate information, they cannot create something out of nothing. The existence of your being came only from God Himself.
“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” Revelation 4:11 NASB
You exist because God willed you existence. Period.
“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”
Genesis 1:31 NASB
You are not a mistake.
You are not the product of your parents.
You are not self-made.
You are God’s idea, God’s intention, God’s design, and God’s will. You only
exist because God wants you to exist. And God saw all that He made, including you, and said, “This is very good.” Your value comes from the fact that God desires your existence.
Sin Does Not Cancel Your Value
While it is true that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” it is not true that God stopped valuing us because of our sin.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous person; though perhaps for the good person someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Romans 5:6-10 NASB (emphasis mine).
While we were still sinners, while we were God’s enemies, when we were completely helpless, God reconciled us to Himself through Jesus blood on the cross. Therefore, your value comes from God twice: because He choose to make you, and because He chose to save you. You have nothing to prove and no reason to beg. God loves you, always has, and always will. The only question remaining is: What will you do with God’s love?
“There is no peace for the wicked,” says the LORD.
Isaiah 48:22 NASB
Restlessness, anxiety, anger, resentment, offense, etc., are a signs that you haven't trusted in God’s love. And if you don't trust God’s love, you will have anxiety. And if you have anxiety, you will do evil.
“Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evil doing.” Psalm 37:8
Fretting (anxiety) leads only to evildoing. Evil doing reinforces our belief that we are not lovable. Not feeling loved leads us to fret. And satan laughs at us in his trap. But love removes anxiety and perfect love drives out fear.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear,” 1 John 4:18 NASB
At the end of the day, self-rejection happens because we don’t believe we have value. Jesus calls us to repent, (which means to change your mind), and believe the good news (Mark 1:15). God does love you, Jesus died for you to redeem you, and you have value and purpose because of His will and sacrifice.
Are you ready lay down your endless struggle to create value from your sex appeal, money, performance, virtue, knowledge, religion, status, superiority, righteousness, accomplishments, power, or whatever thing you use to measure your success? Are you ready to enter into rest? Are you ready to stop doing evil in this search for acceptance?
The way out is this simple: confess your anger to God. If you have anger towards someone, tell God why you are angry with them. After you tell God why you are angry at that person, then say, “Lord, I forgive and I bless ______.” There is no sound reason to retain anger at others when God has forgiven, valued, and loved you.
Next, confess your anger towards yourself. Tell God why you are angry with yourself and then say, “Forgive me, Lord. I forgive and I bless myself.” Forgiving and blessing yourself is simply agreeing with what God has already done for you in Jesus.
You may also find that you need to confess anger towards God. In that case, simply tell God why you are angry with Him and then say, “Forgive me, Lord.” It’s that simple. And if you have never done so before, commit your entire life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Simply say, “Jesus, from this day forward, my entire life, body, soul, and spirit, belongs to you.”
And now, in the name of Jesus, command every spirit of rejection and self-rejection, and pride, jealousy, self-indulgence, arrogance, addiction, self-pity, suicide, lust, loneliness, fear of abandonment, and whatever else may have come in through the open door of rejection, to leave in the mighty name of Jesus. They must obey you and leave.
Your life will never be the same.