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From scowls to smiles

Have you analyzed your expression lately?

Have you analyzed your expression lately?

Solomon is such a vivid communicator. Yes, as perhaps history’s greatest earthly king, he had plenty of opportunity and mental horsepower to record observations in impressive, memorable ways.

Much of his writing requires some additional processing time in order to fully grasp the intent of his words.

Other passages, though, are of the “bottom shelf” variety — even a small child can grasp their meaning.

The passage below is of this variety.

“Wisdom brightens a man’s face and changes its hard appearance” Eccles. 8:1

We’ve all seen people with hard scowls. It seems that “I’m mad” are their two middle names.

Yes, I know that even the most godly person gets upset sometimes because of a specific circumstance. But that godly person doesn’t allow the frustration to perpetually contort his or her face.

What causes such a corrupted countenance is the belief that things aren’t going to get better, that “I’m not getting treated the way that I deserve.”

If someone thinks that their spouse and/or their co-workers and/or their neighbors and/or their fellow church members are never going to treat them how they think they should be treated, the frown often mutates into a stubborn scowl.

Do others ever see you with such an expression?

The only way that scowls melt into soft smiles is when one gains hope for a better future.

It’s true with troubled marriages.

It’s true with frustrating workplaces.

It’s true with annoying neighbors.

And it’s true with socially incompatible church members.

Listen, apart from godly wisdom, there is no enduring way to permanently block scowls from your face.

People ARE going to disappoint you, sometimes even anger you.

But with the wisdom of God in your mind and heart — particularly the knowledge that you’ve disappointed God and yet He shows mercy — then you can avoid becoming a hostage of Satan’s scheme.

So what if the anger-prompting anchor tossed by another smacks you in the face?

What good does it accomplish for your life if you tie a line to that anchor and you keep dragging it around so that you can remind yourself of you were disrespected and how you are still wanting to make the person pay for what he or she did to you?

Sounds to me like scowls are barometers of pride.


Like I asked before, do others ever see you with such an expression?

Wisdom says we’ve all hurt others.

Wisdom says grudges waste time and energy.

Wisdom says anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

Wisdom says to forgive.

Wisdom says that our hope should first be based on how God will treat us in the next life, not on how people treat us in this life.

Wisdom says that humans can take our stuff, our loved ones and even our lives, but that only we can forfeit our souls.

Wisdom says that conquering the grave comes by surrendering our lives to the One who has already done so — Jesus Christ.

When somebody embraces this wisdom, their hard appearance is renewed into humble approachability.

Wow. Do you know somebody with a hard scowl? Pray that God can use you to share words that prompt that person to embrace the Savior who transforms scowls into smiles.

If it happened with the Apostle Paul, it can happen with anybody.

As always, I love you

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