It was a rough day for my teenager. False rumors were flying around the school, and she hung her head in despair. “I don’t understand why they would say these things about me,” she cried, while simultaneously texting someone she hoped would help set the record straight.
Knowing the truth of what had happened, I encouraged her with a word from 1 Samuel 16:7. “I know you’re worried about what people think, but this will pass. The important thing is that I know you and believe in you, and God knows what’s in your heart, too. His opinion is ultimately the only thing that matters,” I said.
Less than 24 hours later, I picked up my daughter and two of her friends from school and smiled as they shared stories punctuated with peals of laughter. All the drama from the day before had been left in the past. She knew who she was, and what she had and hadn’t done. She had no reason to fear the opinions of others. Her identity was secure in Christ.
When the storms of life hit, it is easy to doubt ourselves. When others abandon us or question our actions, our motives, or our capabilities, the pain of rejection can gnaw away at our confidence. Yet, there is One who never doubts us and will never abandon us—One who knows us better than we know ourselves.
While others may judge us from the outside, only our Creator sees who we are on the inside. He also knows to whom our heart belongs; and when we belong to Christ, no one can ever snatch us away from His care. It is there, in God’s mercy and grace, that we find unconditional love that can cut through our sin to transform our very souls. In Him, we find our true identity and worth and can come to believe the truth of who we are—children of God, forgiven and free, who are loved right where we are.
“The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” –1 Samuel 16:7b
“You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.” –Psalm 139:3
“Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.” –1 John 3:1