Don’t Be Afraid of Their Faces
Nov 26, 2018 1927
When I was a little boy of around 9–11 years old, I used to walk to and from school with my brother. We had to walk through the shopping centre.
As I walked I remember looking at the people who were going about this business. I noticed how unhappy and grumpy they looked. I decided that most people didn’t look friendly at all. As a child, it was rather scary.
I am reminded of the words that the Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah when he called him to serve him:
Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you (Jer 1:8, NKJV).
God was calling Jeremiah to go out among his people and preach a message of judgment. He wasn’t going to win any popularity contests. In fact, everyone would hate him because of the things that God told him to say. But God told him not to be afraid of their faces.
As you go through life, you will come across people with many different kinds of faces. There will be gentle and kind faces. But you will also come across plenty of envious and jealous faces, harsh and judgmental faces, bitter and unforgiving faces, and even angry faces.
Now that I’m all grown up I know that most people are sad and tired. They’re not unfriendly. It’s just that life has been tough for them. And I realise that my face isn’t necessarily happy and cheerful all the time either. One way or another, life leaves its scars.
Faces can be among the most beautiful parts of our beings. That’s when they express openness, encouragement, and care for you.
The best wrinkles to have when you’re old are happy wrinkles.
I used to think I was a pretty good judge of character. However I’ve always leant towards being trusting. Some people have told me that I’m too gullible. But I don’t know how I could live any other way than expecting the good from people.
And so I’ve also learnt that faces can also be frightening. They look at you and they judge you. Sometimes they hide evil plans against you. I’ve known people who through smiling faces have betrayed me, and cheated and defrauded me.
A tendency to anxiety and depression runs strongly in my family. Statistics indicate that I’m not alone in this situation. Fear of what others might think about us, or of what others might do, can cripple us with uncertainty and doubt. We can let the faces of others determine our decisions.
The Lord says to you, “Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you. Knowing that the Lord is with you lets you face every face with confidence and strength. That’s what happens when you know that the Lord is with you. The love of the Lord lets you love the person behind every face, and reminds you that you will emerge victorious in the end.
And because I know all this, I need to make a note to myself to smile more. I’m not there yet, but the best wrinkles to have when you’re old are happy wrinkles!
– Eliezer Gonzalez