Friday, July 6, 2012

The Spirit of Rejection – A Two-Handed Game

A dear friend of mine loves to quote from Eric Berne’s “Games People Play”in regards to the mind games that people play in life – the patterns of social interactions. Eric Berne uses the term two-handed game or three handed game in reference to how many people may be involved in each pattern of behavior. My friend is not a Christian, and although I believe that Eric Berne has some great insights into people’s behavior – he doesn’t understand the underlying spiritual basis for everything that happens in this life.

The spirit of rejection almost always begins its influence in childhood. Most of the time it could be that one or both parents rejects the child in either a real – or perceived way and the rejection manifests itself in the form of physical, emotional or verbal abuse and/or neglect. The child begins to believe that he/she is unloved and/or unlovable, and their sense of self-worth is deeply affected. The child then compensates by trying to “win” the affection and love of the parent(s).

The child will either turn to perfectionism – where they will endeavor to please the parent(s) by excelling in school, or sports, or other similar activities, or they will rebel concluding that their parents are somehow right about them – so why try to do anything but fail, or it will be a combination of the two. If unchecked, the child will carry these coping mechanisms into their adult life.

In adult relationships, where there is a spirit of rejection at work, this same child – will inadvertently seek out partners who have similar qualities to the parent(s) who rejected them. They will first seek out other adults who will reject them and then try to win their affections or “make the other person love them” through various means – including manipulation. The pain of rejection is made that much worse by the fact that the rejected party tends to believe their personal worth and value is wrapped up in the other person’s opinion of them. Thus rejection becomes a devastating experience.

Rejection is a two handed game because it involves two players: the rejecter and the rejected. We tend to sympathize with the rejected because everyone has experienced rejection to some degree in their life and we all know how much it hurts. But more often than not – the rejecter has also been influenced by a spirit of rejection. (This is not true of every case where someone breaks up with someone or otherwise “rejects” them. I am talking about toxic relationships that are part of a pattern of rejection – rejecting and being rejected) Just as the “rejected” tend to become involved in relationships where they will be rejected – the “rejecters” tend to be involved in relationships where they will reject the other.

So it is an ongoing game – because it continues in a circular manner.It is not that one outright rejects the other and it ends there. It is a process of rejection, getting closer, pushing away, getting closer, rejection, etc. That is why some people get in and stay in relationships with someone who has made it clear that they are unavailable either physically or emotionally. The rejected may feel they are in a relationship where the other person rejects them, but will not let them go either. The rejecter needs the rejected to stick around to be continuously rejected or the game would come to an end. The game continues because the pattern is so familiar and they are both unaware of the spiritual influence involved in these patterns. So the rejecter is just as much a victim as the rejected because they don’t know that there is a pattern of behavior – let alone be able to break it. Sometimes the one who is continuously rejected – becomes the rejecter – rejecting someone else before they get rejected once again. – It is a vicious cycle.

In the area of games, Eric Berne states that when one person begins to realize the game (especially as they become delivered from that spirit of rejection and God reveals the pattern to them and they begin to heal) the other person will play harder. Thus the player will go to greater lengths to get the other to get back into the game – or they will find someone else to play the game with, thus solidifying the rejection.

The real key to deliverance from a spirit of rejection is Love. Our God is a God of Love. First off – to recognize that a person’s self-worth is not tied to another’s opinion– another’s rejection or acceptance. God has accepted all through Christ Jesus. Second – to understand that in order to break these cycles of rejection – love has to be unconditional. Those that are trapped in these toxic relationships tend to think of love as a means to an end. Either they will try to make the person love them back – thus validating their self-worth – or they will love people selfishly, such as loving their own ability to love that person, or their idea of that person instead of truly loving the person.

Breaking life-long patterns of behavior is not easy, and the Lord is able to open people’s eyes to these toxic patterns. He is able to deliver people from spirits of rejection. Nothing is impossible for Him.

Lots of love



Marshall said...

Linda, there is temptation for us to create a class of people: "rejecters". To label and guard ourselves from those who do not accept as we do or think. Seeing rejection as an negative builds upon the power & reach of rejection. (not a helpful thing)
Jesus Christ never took rejection by people personally, and neither need we. If/when God rejects what we're doing or being, that's the only valid space to be seriously concerned about rejection. He may send a human to get our attention about something, while its all truly about walking with Him.
Remembering that Cain killed his brother, Abel, in that he got his response to rejection confused; thinking it was about his brother.

wendyworn said...

Very interesting observation Marshall. Thanks for commenting.

Mrs White said...

OMG! Thank you so much for this post. I have to share on my Facebook. I totally related and you have made me say hmmm?
I have dealt with rejection all my life and continue dealing with it. But, you have also pointed out how I have now become the rejector for fear of being rejected again.
Praying for God to deliver me from spirits of rejection and break this life long pattern of behavior.

God Bless

Mrs White

wendyworn said...

Mrs. White

I know because I have definately played these games and have had these patterns of behavior myself. It was when I recently was rejected and stopped playing that the Lord revealed how much that is still influecing my life. Thank God He is so faithful to show us these things and deliver us. Thanks for reading!
lots of love
Linda said...

Very interesting article. Thank you for the read. I love your point, "The real key to deliverance from a spirit of rejection is Love." So true. Regards, Ryan

Anonymous said...

The Lord said to me "I chose you." With that from Him, I came to understand that the man that wanted to play these games with me, ie hit and run, is just fooling himself. I see it for what it is. His ATTEMPT to reject me and to get me to BUY into it is really just him attempt to pull me down. He sees me and KNOWS that he does not have what it takes to be a real man and stand on equal footing with me so he runs because he is hiding from the truth. He doesn't want to look at the test result that reveals his "F". He is not insecure at all. He is secure in knowing he is lacking. He can only be helped by God's revelation to him of who he is. Best thing I can do in these situations is to STAND firm, tell him: you don't reject me, you reject you and so I reject you too because I validate your judgment. So be it.