By Rev. Dr. J. Loren Russell

Proverbs 27:19
As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man.

Mark 7:21-23
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Before mirrors were a part of our everyday life, people relied on water to see their reflection. What they saw staring back at them was just a murky image of what they looked like. If the water was unsettled, they would get a wavy reflection. If the water was cloudy or muddy, the reflection would be the same. However, if the water was calm, movement free, and clear, they would see a pretty decent representation of their face. But no matter how good the image, it was only a dim reflection of the person gazing into the water. Mirrors changed all of that. They have evolved and now reveal clear and true reflections of our faces. Yet, the greatest interpretation of our face is not the image staring back at us, but the essence of what’s in the heart of the face looking back at us.

Jeremiah 17:9 says that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Mark detailed the deceit and wickedness that lurks within the heart (7:21-23), while Solomon stated as a matter of fact that the things in your heart are revealed on your face (Proverbs 27:19).

Is there no way to change what people see on our faces? Are our hearts so desperately wicked that there is no hope of transformation? Based on these scriptural references, our faces should be twisted all the time. Earth, Wind and Fire wrote a song called “On Your Face.” It talks about the things that show up on our faces.

Ain’t it funny that the way you feel
shows on your face and no matter, how you try to hide it’ll state your case
Now a frown will bring your Spirits down to the ground
And never let you see, the Good things all around.
Sadness bears no remedy, for the problems in your life
Won’t disappear
This world can’t shake me, Bad times can’t make me sad
Ole world can’t take me, Won’t let it drive me mad
While you run your race, keep a smilin’ face
Help you set your pace, Life is on your case.

At some point, we must realize that the things that come out of our hearts, the things that show on our faces, are the things we have allowed, permitted and invited into our lives and our hearts. In the words of the computer nerds, “garbage in, garbage out!” Long before Solomon wrote “a man’s heart reveals the man,” he informed us that “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad” (Proverbs 12:25). Earth, Wind & Fire’s song offers hope if we keep a smile on our face while we run our race. The way to put a smile on and change the look on our face is by instilling a good word in our heart. There is no better word to have in your heart than the Word of God. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11). If you hide the word of God in your heart, it will bring a smile to your face, joy to your spirit, and it will be written all over your face.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; and creator& host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 pm LIVE on J Loren Russell and Matters of Faith Facebook groups and the Matters of Faith YouTube channel.

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