“L” is for “Loser!”


So, let’s say you go to a party, or a small group fellowship, or maybe just a regular church service on Sunday morning . . . and you feel like no one is talking to you, like you’re being avoided, or that you’re a loser.

What is your typical reaction?

If you’re like most people, your first reaction is hurt and confusion:

“What have I done wrong?”

“Why don’t they like me?”

“What’s wrong with me?”

All of those reactions are pretty common. If a sense of rejection becomes a frequent occurrence, it can lead to feelings of worthlessness, depression, even a desire to stay home and isolate yourself in protection.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Most of my life I’ve skipped happily along, generally oblivious to whether people “liked me” or not—that kind of thinking wasn’t on my radar screen. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely encountered a few people who made it obvious that I was not their favorite person . . . but I learned a long time ago to take on a “thick skin” in ministry and not hold on to things like that (by the way, putting on thick skin isn’t the best solution).

I’ve had a hard time relating to women who get their feelings hurt by what others say or do to them, but I’m grappling with this whole thing in a new light and trying to gain some understanding of what is happening when we care what others think of us, or when we could “care less” what others think.

Want to join me in thinking through this, today?

When people feel rejected, there seems to be three typical reactions:

  • Hurt or offense over the rejection
  • Oblivious to the rejection because of putting on a thick skin
  • Love—no matter how I’m treated—because of who I am “in Christ.”

I think behind “door number three” we’ll find the right heart reaction. But first, let’s investigate the more common reactions.

I’m a Loser!

When we’re hurt by (perceived or actual) offenses by others, it is indicating something about our hearts. Our hearts long for affirmation, for approval, for love. That’s a good thing. That’s how God made us.

If we’re living for others to shower us with attention and love, we’ve missed the boat. Our focus should be more on giving love than getting love. The love that we’ve received from God is more than sufficient to meet our every need. Therefore, we can love others.

We were created to have our longing for love met in experiencing love the way Jesus described it:

[box]“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind . . . And . . . You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37–39)[/box]

What about building up your self-esteem?

When I hear someone encouraging me to “love myself” it is a red flag to me. The idea of “loving myself” always bothers me . . . I’m sure I “love myself” already way more than I should, but what is Jesus talking about here when He says “love your neighbor . . . as yourself?”

I know He’s not promoting some kind of narcissistic focus or endorsing the idea of self-esteem.

I think it’s safe to say that He is instructing us to care for others in the same way we care for ourselves, not that He is promoting some kind of self-centered love and from that try to work up love for others.

The point is that we are to be vessels that are first, receiving love from God, and from that we are able to pour out love. That is to be our focus: to love God and to love others . . . rather than grasping for, pulling for, looking for, others to love us!

Putting on thick skin is not the answer. 

When we put up walls of protection, it may isolate us from experiencing some of the pain inflicted by being in relationships, but that is not the way of Christ. Remember what He gave us as an example in our relating to others?

[box]We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 John 3:16)[/box]

[box]For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:21–23)[/box]

“Door Number Three” 

When we are solidly planted in God’s love for us, when we are looking to Him alone as the One we are living to please, we will be oblivious to what others think of us . . . we will only care what He thinks of us. When we realize that our “self-esteem” our worth and value is found in what Christ did for us on the cross, we’ll be secure.

In order to reach that place, we need to get a solid understanding of who we are “in Christ.”

Reveling in Love! 

When we are centering our lives and identity around the truth that we are valuable to God, when our personal esteem flows from His purchase of us through His shed blood, then we will be so caught up in that gracious reality that we won’t even take thought of how others “treat us.”

Instead, we’ll be reveling in His love for us, and as we revel in it, we’ll turn to share that love with others. When we are so focused on loving others, and our need for affirmation and value has been totally met in what Jesus did on the cross, we won’t be on the hunt for others to shower us with their attention or to “treat us” as likeable, we’ll be rushing to bless them with His love flowing through us.

That is totally different than just putting on a thick coat of armor that says “I don’t care what people think or how I’m treated; it doesn’t matter.”

What is your typical reaction when you feel left out at a gathering?

Are you struggling right now because you feel isolated or rejected?

Where are you finding your worth and value?

How can you reach out to love others today?

Image courtesy of stockimages/


  • Becky Arnold

    Such a good word for the battle of pleasing people. It’s a struggle I have often and this has encouraged me in thinking about and dwelling on what is TRUE. Thanks, Kim!

  • Julie Musil

    Kimberly, you have no idea how targeted this message is to me today. I’m going through an extremely punch-in-the-gut type of rejection, which hurts so deeply. However, I’m learning this:

    “The point is that we are to be vessels that are first, receiving love from God, and from that we are able to pour out love. That is to be our focus: to love God and to love others . . . rather than grasping for, pulling for, looking for, others to love us!”

    When I meditate on that, it brings peace to my soul. Thanks for what you do here on the blog.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Dear Julie,

    I am so sorry you’re experiencing rejection, you have such a precious heart, friend! Walk through the truths from Scripture that I shared yesterday and remind yourself again of who you are in Christ. He sees all you are going through and He cares. You can trust His steadfast love.

    Pausing to pray for you, now ~

  • Tricia Miner

    I am currently reading your book “Fierce Women” & am doing a study chapter by chapter with one of my prayer partners and my adult daughter who is marroed & has 3 kids I have been married for almost 28 years & my husband & I have had many ups and downs I sometimes feel rejected by him and lash out because of it. My expectations seem to get in the way of my feeling loved by him. I tend to be hard on myself & feel defeated when I fail to love.
    I ran across your Facebook page when I goggles your name. I am hoping to grow in being a godly wife and modeling it more to my adult children. But I need prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit to transform me. I confess that my identity which I know should be in what Christ has done for me on the cross but at times I feel my identity or worthliness of love is tied up on how I am treated especially by my husband. So with all this said I want to thank you because I am counting on God to use your book and blogs for His glory. That he will transform me to worry less about my needs and more about about meeting my husband needs. I am wondering if I could ask you to pray for our small group of 3 women are going through your book that we will all grow in godliness through your teaching and most of all love for our husbands.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Tricia ~

    Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing with me some of your story. I am thrilled that you all are doing the study together, and I will be glad to lift you up in prayer.

    May God meet with you as you spend time together, looking to Him to lead you, and searching the Scriptures as your foundation and authority.

    Father, you see these women, you know their lives intimately and you are aware of every need. Would you lead them by your wisdom, would you open their eyes to what you know they need to see? Will you grant them grace for repentance where there is sin? Will you deepen their love for you and out of the overflow of that love, will you increase their love for their husbands? Please place a hedge of protection around these marriages.

    Father,please assure Tricia that her worth and value is found in your deep love for her and your willingness to rescue her. Lord Jesus, confirm to Tricia that her value has been demonstrated by the shedding of your precious blood for her.

    “Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:18–21)

    Tricia, so glad you connected here, if you’d like to receive the daily blog in your inbox, you can subscribe by placing your email in the “Subscribe” box in the upper left column.

    Glad to have you joining us!