Kids can be very cruel. They notice imperfections better than the average person. They don’t forget them; and they don’t let you forget them, either. Crooked noses, freckles, big ears, frizzy hair, eyeglasses, birthmarks, and anything else which is considered to be outside the realm of “normal” is open game for their verbal assaults. Only genuine love can penetrate the snide, careless remarks and give a victimized child a fresh sense of self-worth. In her book, The Whisper Test, Mary Ann Bird, who has a cleft palate, revealed a turning point in her childhood struggle with ostracism in school, “Mrs. Leonard gave the [hearing] test to everyone in the class, and finally it was my turn. . . . I waited there for those words that God must have put into her mouth, those seven words that changed my life. Mrs. Leonard said in her whisper, ‘I wish you were my little girl.’”

Mary Ann might have had classmates who didn’t like her, but none of that mattered when she found a teacher who genuinely loved her. The same is true of Christians who struggle with rejection and ostracism from the world and their Christian peers. People who do not like us may speak against us and try to harm us. They may attempt to undermine our character. Others will disappoint us. God’s love is a game changer which keeps us in contention when the race’s outcome is not in our favor. He is cheering us on when everyone else is crying for our defeat. He loves us.

Are you disappointed because others have ridiculed you on account of your shortcomings or “differences”? Maybe you feel like no one understands or cares about your circumstances. You are disgusted with others’ inconsistency and insensitivity. Life is too short to worry about people who do not care about us. Instead, let’s concentrate on the One who really does care and understand — God. He loves us just the way we are — and His love will never change.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.