Rejection: Set Aside or Set Apart?

Taking a new look at when we get passed over


If you are just joining us, we are journeying together through Lysa Terkeurst’s book, “Uninvited.” If you would like to read along, you can get your own copy of Lysa’s book HERE (affiliate link.)

Read the previous posts here:

Making Peace With Rejection
True Identity
When Our Perceptions Are Wrong
When Expectations Disappoint Us
Trusting God Instead of Rejection
When Your Friendship Breaks
Grace: The Antidote to Rejection
When Past Experiences Magnify Our Rejection

Today we are looking at chapter 9.

Rejection: Set Aside or Set Apart?

Being passed over, set aside, rejected, overlooked, avoided, missed, or dismissed hurts. It hurts a lot! When it happens, it can send us into a tail spin of self-pity and worse. Read what Lysa writes:

Rejection isn’t just an emotional feeling. It’s a message that alters what you believe about yourself. And the minute you sense that happening is the minute you must stop the runaway thinking with truth.

Stoping that thinking is important so that we don’t, as Lysa continues to say, internalize a lie about our identity and miss what God is doing in us. Read more:

To be set aside is to be rejected.

That’s exactly what the enemy would have wanted me to feel. If he could get me to feel this, then I’d become completely self-absorbed in my own insecurity and miss whatever the reason God had for me to be at this event.

To be set apart is to be given an assignment that requires preparation.

To be set apart is to be given an assignment that requires preparation. ~ Lysa Terkeurst Click To Tweet

Think about that for a minute. When we give in to the downward spiral of negative thoughts that are triggered by a moment of rejection, it’s really hard to hear or notice anything else. All we can focus on is how awful we feel, how awful we must be, and how awful those who rejected us are.

But, there’s another way to face these moments.

Instead of feeling set aside, we can see the moment as being set apart.

When we are included, there isn’t a reason to stop and consider; there isn’t the quiet to stop and listen; there isn’t the hurt to stop and feel. When we are included, there isn’t space for us to learn and grow.

Lysa teaches us three gifts we receive in these moments of being set aside, or, as it were, set apart:

  1. The gift of being made less. The opportunity to grow in humility and allow God to work.
  2. The gift of being lonely. The compassion to notice loneliness in others.
  3. The gift of silence. The space that allows us to hear God’s voice to us.

One of the things that Lysa notes and really spoke to me was that Jesus seemed to stop and notice and speak more intimately with those who were lonely, set aside, rejected and overlooked. Consider the stories of the woman at the well, the woman healed from 12 years of bleeding, the woman caught in adultery and many more stories found in the gospels.

The women in these stories were outcasts and rejected. They went out of their way to keep themselves from being noticed. They didn’t want to set themselves up for further rejection and hurt. Yet, Jesus went out of his way to pay special attention to each one of these women. He met each one of them where they were at, offered them forgiveness and eternal life, accepted them and loved them.

When you think of rejection in this light, rejection is a gift! A gift to draw closer to Jesus and hear from Him.

We all desperately want something that we see the Lord giving other women. We see Him blessing them in the very areas He’s withholding from us.

If we can see these moments as being set apart for God to work in us, teach us, grow us or draw us closer to Him, we can see that God is giving us what we really need, rather than what we think we need. If we look at our moments of being set aside this way instead, we can feel the wonderful acceptance that God has for us and the love he showers on us and feel wonderfully set apart instead.

Blessings to you this week!



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7 thoughts on “Rejection: Set Aside or Set Apart?

  1. I have Uninvited on my list of books to read. I love how Lysa describes being set apart for God to work in us. What a beautiful thought and truth in knowing what God’s purpose really is rather than what we imagine it could be. Glad to be your neighbor at Holly’s today.

  2. Beautiful words on this wonderful book. Looks like a great study! Set apart is so different than being set aside. So important to change our perspective! Thanks for the prompting to do so. Following you at Deb’s this week. Bless you!