It’s been a long time since I have written anything here, so at the request of a friend, I type this now because I want to share an ouch. This morning in my devotional time I read, “The true expression of Christian character is not in good-doing, but in God-likeness.” That was a pretty decent slap in the face. Not that I am overly focused on “good-doing,” but I can quite readily admit that I am not nearly living in as much “God-likeness” as I should be.
Oswald Chambers often has the ability to point a very direct finger at the heart of our own faults. I don’t suspect he was the type to point at the specks in a neighbor’s eye while walking around with his own plank. I think that what he wrote, he wrote to himself, as I often do. So when I think about what he was saying in this piece, I am reminded that my facial expressions betray me. Or, maybe they make me more honest.
Honesty, in this situation is kind of a problem. Because as Chambers was writing, we need to treat people as Jesus would treat them, not in the way of our “natural affections.” Essentially, the people who drive me batty, that I would rather have nothing to do with, on some level, in their presence, I must change my face. Which is kind of funny to write since I used to tell my own children that same thing, “Change your face!” whenever they would give me the “stank-eye.”
My face, sadly, is often a true reflection of my heart. Not in the sense that because I don’t smile a lot I am an utterly miserable human being. More so with regards to if I don’t like you, my face will pretty much give me away. I have always valued that aspect of my personality because it means that for the most part, I am real, all the time, everywhere. It shows that I am not the fake it til I make it type. However, it also reveals my “natural affections” and thereby demeans the beauty of His Spirit within me. That’s where the slap in the face comes in. I truly need to change mine, to shine a lot more like Jesus especially in the midst of those I’d rather avoid.