I know a handful of "recovering people pleasers," and sometimes I call myself the same thing.
I don't think it's a terrible thing to admit—I think it's honest. We want people to like us—we want to feel seen and valued and loved. So when Jesus tells us that the world may hate us, I'm uncomfortable and I want to ask Him, "Can't we do something about that? What do they want??"
Ultimately, they want Jesus, but they may not know it yet. We all long for Him and for the union of being with Him. So until they're ready for Him in all His glory, what can we do? How can we respond to the hatred?
We have to respond with love, of course, but we also need to respond by better rooting ourselves in the identity of being beloved. When we know who we are, we can show others Who we're all about and help them discover their identity as His beloved, too.
I've met a few women in my life who I can tell, without a shadow of a doubt, know they are beloved by God. They know they are His daughters. They feel stronger because of it. They feel joy because of it. And it's also beyond emotions—they have a confidence in Him that is not shaken.
And when I encounter these women, I'm changed. I walk away wanting to know more about Our Father, wanting to know more about what He has to say about me—to me.
Maybe when we're faced with hatred, the way we should handle it is by running towards the Face of Love itself. Over time, maybe we'll grow in that same confidence and in that same identity that shouts, "I'm beloved and so are you."
Are you familiar with Saint Therese of Lisieux's devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus?
Annie Deddens is a writer and producer. She runs a prayer ministry with her husband, called Pray More Novenas. She has a heart for the sick & suffering, and she writes about living with greater faith (hope & love, too) in this imperfect world as a Catholic wife. You can find out more about her here.