The Emojis On Our Face
During a family gathering some years ago, my mother-in-law discovered someone had been peeling the wallpaper off her bathroom wall. She confronted her grandchildren with her serious grandmother face and demanded, “Who has been tearing my wallpaper?”
James’ cousins looked back at her wide-eyed, open-mouthed and innocent. James, on the other hand, looked totally indignant and insulted. He immediately piped right up with “I wouldn’t do that! I’m five!”
The looks on their faces were priceless. Living emojis before their time. You have heard the saying, “If looks could kill…”? Well, their faces told the story clearly without any words.
(Note: We still have no clue who was the culprit. It could have been grandpa or the cat. To this day no one has confessed, and the “kids” are in their thirties and forties.)
The faces we make and the gestures our bodies convey send messages out into the world loud and clear. We do often wear our “hearts” (our emotions and thoughts) on our “sleeves”, so to speak. Whether we intend to or not. When actual words are added to the mix, we make our opinions perfectly clear. Both positive and negative opinions.
A cheerful heart is good medicine – and it shows on your face!
Proverbs 17:22 – NIV
Laughter and happiness come easily. Both are encouraging and full of hope. Negative emotions, however, are especially difficult to hide. It takes a great deal of clear thinking to bite our tongues on retorts or anger, doesn’t it! How often does jealously, anger, pride, hurt, fear or even hate show on our faces. How often do our words and faces say, “I wouldn’t do that! I’m a Christian!” And then, well, we turn around and say or think the exact same thing…
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without thinking.
Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.
Romans 12:2 - MSG
Too many words and attitudes socially acceptable now are still character imperfections in the eyes of an all-loving God. Momma taught me better. Christ has taught us all better. Yet – as hard as we try not to - the critical or unkind words so easily show on our faces and fly out of our mouths without a second thought. They do mine anyway. I have thought about writing a book entitled “Lessons I’ve Learned with Both Feet in my Mouth.” (I’ll share some of those lessons one day.)
Facial expressions and body language count. Words count. Each has power to build up, comfort and encourage or to break down, discourage and destroy.
This week I challenge us all to guard our faces and watch our body language. Let laughter and kindness shout out loud but negative thoughts keep quiet. Let’s also work to zip our lips on negative words and instead intentionally use four-letter words like love, care, hope.
Bottom line – I challenge us all to guard our minds and keep Christ as our focus. When we do that, it will take care of all the rest. I dare you!
Hugs and blessings,
Dear Jesus, I know some days You seriously want to wash my mouth out with soap. Instead, please help me to use words of kindness and encouragement rather than criticism. Help my face to show love and acceptance rather than anger and frustration. I need for You to keep me focused on things that are good and positive. I can’t do it without You. Amen.