2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
The face is what we show to others and use as our most important medium of communication. I know that I scowl, frown, and show disapproval with simple facial gestures, and often I regret making that face at the wrong time because of the hurtful message that it may have sent. It’s easy to play with facial expressions too. After the message has been sent the recipient may process and question, “Just what did you mean by that look?” This can be playful and harmless, but too often it’s a deliberate act of selfish behavior. Teenage girls have the reputation for perfecting this but at times we’ve all cared too little for the pure truth of our expression and how it registers in the mind and heart of another. It’s also “beyond just the expression” when we use our attitude of uncooperation and detachment rather than enthusiasm and assistance, and that definitely hurts others. All those living in this social world of interpersonal relationships know what I’m writing about.
Paul talks of “unveiled” faces. These faces are pure and true, hiding nothing, and putting on no pretense imagined or real. When we can be ourselves completely it shows in our faces. When we love others it shows in what we say, in our smile, our touch, and our actions.
Yesterday I was preoccupied as I looked for a few items in the grocery store. I knew that my wife Kathy was really doing the shopping—I was merely along as her trivial assistant. I sort of resent that role and I get irritated, even when it’s a week before Christmas. I’m sure that I was frowning—maybe even scowling. Out of the blur of shoppers and carts, boxes and cans that overflow the shelves came a happy smile aimed at me. Beatrice, a dear friend, neighbor and pre-teen schoolmate, was obviously happy to see me, even excited at our chance meeting. We hugged, and exchanged a few new details of our lives. Bea and I still live in the same area, and run into each other often and no matter when, her face and her smile is like a beautiful bouquet of spring flowers and my heart melts at the truth of her genuine concern for our friendship these many years. My heart was truly lifted by her facial expression.
This is what I believe Paul meant when he used “unveiled faces” as his metaphor for reflecting God’s glory. This is our first duty—to reflect His glory in our everyday interactions—and then to seek higher ground. Christians should all attempt to model the behavior of our Lord and savior, and as we become more like Him, His glory is increased.
Lord Jesus help us to love others in our communication and our actions, and to become more like you. All the glory is yours, our savior, redeemer, and friend.
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