A great lesson … especially as the COVID masks come off.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” — Galatians 5:22
His Face Said, “Yes!”
As President Thomas Jefferson was traveling with companions across the country on horseback in the early 1800’s, he approached a large river that needed to be carefully crossed. A stranger appeared and wondered how he too was going to get across the river. The stranger looked at the President and asked if he could get a ride. Thomas Jefferson said, “Sure, hop on!”
One of the companions traveling with Jefferson questioned why the man had asked the President for a ride. The stranger replied, “I didn’t know he was the President. All I know is that his face said yes, and all your faces said no!”
“I Never Forget A Face …”
For some of us, we too have a No-Face. Our face has already spoken before we even open our mouths to say no. A friend of mine says that too many Christians were baptized in lemon juice. They have a scowl on their face and pursed lips. Everything about them says no — their attitude, countenance, demeanor, posture, and facial expressions.
“I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.” — Groucho Marx
When I think back, many coaches, athletes, teachers, neighbors, bosses, friends, and church members that I knew growing up wore the No-Face. They didn’t know they were coming across that way, and I don’t think they wanted to wear the No-Face. But unfortunately, they did.
Thankfully, I also had some amazing people in my life who wore a Yes-Face. My high school football coach, Sleepy Thompson; my fifth grade English teacher, Mrs. Beattie; my college lacrosse equipment manager, Coop; and my mom are just a few of them.
An Overflow From the Heart
Dan Webster, one of my longtime mentors who trains all our new FCA staff on leadership of the heart, has the ultimate Yes-Face. He is enthusiastic and upbeat, but there is more to his Yes-Face than a positive vibe. There is a depth and maturity that brings hope and peace. He not only has a can-do attitude, but he also has a strength and confidence that God will work things out according to His plans. I love being around Dan because he blesses those he encounters. A natural overflow from his heart gets revealed through his face. A Yes-Face is a Blessed-Face because blessed people bless people.
Yes-Face leaders are everywhere throughout our ministry. We have many who carry a “can-do,” “I believe,” “Let’s go!” attitude. Staff, coaches, athletes, volunteers, donors, and board members love seeing Jesus Christ transform the world of sports, and it shows on their faces. They wake up every day with a Yes-Face because they believe the power of God is working in and through them to bring life-change in teams, communities, cities, and countries.
Remember, others are watching our non-verbal communication. They know what we are saying without us saying a word. We are being evaluated during meetings, conversations, and interactions. They watch from a distance and want to know if they can trust us to get on the horse and get a ride across the river.
Characteristics of a Yes-Face
What is a Yes-Face? Here are 10 defining characteristics:
Start With the Heart
As followers of Christ, the inward experience is the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The fruit of the Spirit is the cord that connects our heart with our face. Our countenance should exude our confidence in Christ. A Yes-Face has a Spirit-filled heart. A Yes-Face has a godly heart.
“Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart.” — Proverbs 27:19
What does your face say about you? Is your face screaming no? If you need a face change, start with your heart and ask God to fill you with the fruit of the Spirit. He loves transforming hearts. Your face will follow — your No-Face will transform into a Yes-Face.
Let’s see those Yes-Faces! The world needs more of them. Your face is an outward expression of the inward reality of your heart. Remember, start with the heart.
Dan Britton is the Chief Field Officer for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has served FCA since 1990, and since 2013, has led FCA’s international efforts, traveling extensively around the world, as FCA works in 92 countries, training thousands of sports leaders, coaches, and athletes.