Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What Does Your Face Say About Your Heart?

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. Proverbs 15:13
I have a problem....one that I will readily admit to you because it needs to stop...my thoughts are always "all over my face." I don't hide what I'm thinking very well...at all. Until today, I always told myself that this problem needed to be fixed and that the answer was, obviously, to develop more of a "poker face." This would allow me to still think the thoughts, but not broadcast them to the world. My faces are something that my husband has lovingly corrected me on more than once. "Do you have to look so disgusted with that person?" "Well, I am disgusted with their behavior..." "Well that's not a very Godly response." "Ugh...Well, don't you agree with me?!"  Welcome to a common conversation in our marriage...lol And typically, he does see my point and agrees that whatever I'm in a huff about is a problem, but he is always quick to tell me that while that person does do ______________, my attitude is wrong, and both are sins before our holy God.

We are so quick to justify our sin because, at the core issue, we are sure we're right. And I feel like I have really grown in the area of "judging." I used to judge, just because someone did something differently than I do, but I was feeling pretty happy that I am doing much better at judging only when I know I'm right. I believe that God places people around us who are not doing right, or making poor choices, for several reasons: to teach us patience, to show us by example how not to live, to teach us graciousness. I think it's good to look at someone who is making poor choices and think (and even discuss in the privacy of our marriage) about how we should avoid that path or not do the same actions in our life, but when that lesson becomes a spirit of annoyance or disgust with the person, it becomes wrong.

As I read this Proverb today, I was struck by the truth that our countenance is a direct reflection of our heart-attitude. The answer is not to cover up my "face thoughts," but rather to change my "heart thoughts." "...for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Matthew 12:34. I feel like I've always viewed this verse in the negative..."if you have bad thoughts in your heart, they are eventually going to come out!" And that's true...completely, but what if we view that verse as a positive? Think on the things of God, fill your heart with his love, and your mouth will speak good things!? 

Here's the thing...we can't just decide to have a cheerful countenance. It's not something that is in our power to do. So as I read this verse and inside so badly desired to have a cheerful and uplifting countenance (after all, who doesn't love to be around someone with a cheerful disposition? I bet when you read this verse, you immediately think of someone in your life,  that person that has the joy of Jesus just radiating from their face.), I realized that it wasn't about my face. It was about my heart. The problem was deeper than the genetics that make my emotions obvious (my mom's got it too! lol). It's not a problem that what I'm feeling shows on my face...rather, the problem is what I'm feeling! I feel like I got a revelation from God today! lol I'm so excited to have this truth penetrate my heart, but I'm nervous because changing a heart-attitude is hard work and requires some serious focus on God and His desires.

I hope that this thought encourages you today. A cheerful countenance is within reach, but it starts with a hardcore pursuit of God and his heart-attitude. I have a new area to work on in my life and I'll hopefully come back with a progress story in the near future as I seek to have a Godly heart which will be reflected in an uplifted and cheerful disposition. I could go on and on about how no one likes the "grumpy Gus  and unpleasant spirit, but you know that....just like me, if this is something you struggle with, you know it. lol So be encouraged. God wants us to succeed, He wants us to have a heart after His ways. Let's seek Him and see how that affects our faces. :)

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