Every once in a while, I think back to my high-school self and wonder what I would tell the sixteen year old with acne and bleached hair if I had the chance. Surely, I’d meet her in the school bathroom or her parked car where she often ate her lunch alone, or on the bleachers of some sports game she wasn’t talented enough to play, and I’d seek to offer her some sort of consolation.
But when it comes down to it, I know in my heart that there’s not much about this part of my life I would change, but it would serve me well to be reminded of today’s reading.
Saint Paul writes, "[t]he one who judges me is the Lord. Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God" (1 Corinthians 4:4-5).
At any given moment, I could recite a litany of false beliefs that others have spoken about me—in high school and my adult life. These instances tempt me to ask, “Jesus, how could You love me?”
But I know that God the Father is the one true judge of my heart, and His motives are pure. His justice is not motivated by false rumors or misconceptions, jealousy, or anger. He sees me for who I am and not how others perceive me.
Sister, if you’ve ever felt the weight of being judged by false standards, I want to remind you, too, that the Father’s heart delights in you and sees you as you truly are: good, worthy, and beloved.
So instead of considering the world’s perception and asking, “Jesus, how could You love me?” let’s start praying, “Jesus, I believe that You love me.”
Because you are His, before and after anything else.