“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Mt. 5:16
“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
“Wipe that sneer off your face!” my dear Dad declared night after night at the dinner table when I was a teen. My Dad didn’t just see the sour and ugly look on my face. He also heard my unkind unloving dishonoring mouth. And above all else he could see my heart. My face was a reflection of my heart. My yucky disrespectful teenage attitude issued from my heart so that my words and actions not to mention my facial expressions showed my disobedience plain and clear to my Dad and my beloved Mom and brother who watched this nightly occurrence. Inevitably, I got kicked away from the dinner table, and inevitably the whole scene would repeat itself again and again. I did not know the Lord back then. Though I loved my parents and was a good student and overall behaved remarkably well for a teen, still I had that ugliness in my heart – and most assuredly on my face.
Decades later, my sweet Mom said something to me one day that was difficult for me to hear. Minutes later, she looked really upset. What was the problem?
“You have a look of total disgust on your face,” she essentially said. It turns out I wasn’t disgusted. I was upset, felt overwhelmed and surprised by her words. But the fact remained my heart was reflected on my face. And she was hurt. This time I knew the Lord. This time I followed Him. This time I realized by God’s Spirit afterward something so incredibly important.
The world doesn’t just see the actions and hear the words of Christ’s followers. The world sees our faces. And sometimes by our faces the world sees what’s in our hearts. My Mom had not yet repented and placed her trust in and devoted her life to Jesus Christ as Lord for forgiveness and the promise of an everlasting relationship with God, and she was watching me. What she saw was not the light of Christ as she should have seen. Not the love of Christ. But my flesh squirming inside because I didn’t like the words she was speaking to me.
It was an awesome lesson about the hearts and faces of those of us who follow the Lord Jesus Christ. As soon as we see anything in our hearts and actions that is not of the Lord, we need to repent of it. We need to seek God’s forgiveness, be filled with His love by the gift and presence of His Spirit which He promises to His followers and by His Word, and reflect on our faces Christ Jesus who is Lord.