So What’s Your Problem? Discerning the Root of the Fruit You Hate – by Anthony Hulsebus

Rejection Exposed frontThe article below is adapted from chapter one of the book Rejection Exposed: Understanding the Root and Fruit of Rejection by Anthony Hulsebus. I had the privilege to work with Anthony on this book and the workbook that goes with it, which contain very helpful and timely content to deal with the root of the problems in our lives.


Bad things happen. We all get hurt and we all hurt others.

We’re part victims and part villains. So what do we do about it?

I suggest we have missed the answer in two areas: first, we have focused on the fruit and not the root; and second, we have ignored the spiritual side of life.

Many of us struggle with the fruits of anger, fear, anxiety, addictions, lust, lying, cheating, stealing, depression, etc. We don’t like the bad fruit in our lives (or in the lives of others) and we try all kinds of things to fix our problems.

We try better or different friends, new hobbies, new clothes, new jobs, new location, therapy, and even religion, but we often don’t experience the change we want. We have failed to see the root of the problem, so we can never change the fruit.

Our issues become the proverbial weed in the sidewalk that we pull every week, but it just keeps growing back because we can’t get at the root! We constantly ask ourselves, “What is my problem?” or “What is their problem?”

Here’s the really good news. It’s not complicated because the root is based in one simple but powerful word: rejection. Rejection—active and passive—is a universal problem. Humans generally live rejected with a deep-rooted sense of failure and/or disappointment—what I call a root of rejection.

Rejection is sneaky. Really. Most people I meet don’t readily identify rejection as an issue in their lives.

One of the most successful and famous musical artists of our day was the late pop icon Michael Jackson. In a recent interview, his friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach said:

I’m speaking specifically as the years went on, I think Michael lived with a profound fear of rejection. And Michael told me once—and this is a heartbreaking conversation between us—“Shmuley, I promise I’m not lying to you,” he said. “I’m not lying to you.” He said that twice. “But everything I’ve done in pursuing fame, in honing my craft,” to quote his words, “was an effort to be loved, because I never felt loved.” And he used to say that to me all the time…he said that he lived for his father’s approval.1

Never underestimate the power of rejection, especially from a father.

Since rejection is a spiritual, eternal force, when it is sown in our hearts as a seed through words and actions against us, it produces a spiritual root.

You will never remove a root by treating the fruit, but you will change the fruit in your life by changing the roots that feed your internal life.

Once you know why you are carrying the burdens, pains, sorrows, and sadness that you do, you will be much more likely to be free. My wife, Susan, and I have had many people come to us over the years who say, “I feel ___ (fill in the blank with sad, mad, pained, depressed, etc.) and I don’t know why.”

We then help them discover the why and then equip them to learn how rejection works. But the main thing people fail to realize is the spiritual side of rejection, and really, of life itself.

I am inviting you to explore with me the spiritual side of rejection and its affects. If you will keep an open mind regarding this aspect of life, whether you feel you’re a spiritual person or not, the principles we look at will help you recover from the effects of rejection.

Most people dismiss the effects of rejection in their life. They have had to in order to survive. But that doesn’t mean the effect is not there; it just means it’s buried. It’s buried in memories and those memories are still alive, even if they are compartmentalized to help us cope with life.

The good news is that love and acceptance are more powerful than rejection. The power of identity, the power of words, and the power of trust can destroy the root of rejection and bring the fruit we long to see in our lives.

1 CNN, “Jackson rabbi-friend: Singer was ‘a tortured, tortured soul.’” June 30, 2012.

To Purchase the Book

This book and accompanying workbook are available here on

About the Author

Anthony Hulsebus is the founder Dominion Ministries International. Since 1984, he has been working worldwide to equip Christian believers to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. He is evangelistically motivated, prophetically gifted, and his passion is to help create an outwardly-focused Church. He and his wife, Susan, minister as a team, using their prophetic gifts to bring inner healing and deliverance breakthroughs to multitudes. Anthony’s teachings “Hearing God’s Voice” and “Prophetic Evangelism” are highly sought after throughout the body of Christ. Anthony graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Fine Arts and Music and is also an accomplished jazz and gospel saxophonist. Anthony lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and two children. Contact him at

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