"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
When 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 was going to get across. He looked at the President and asked if he could get a ride across the river. Thomas Jefferson said, “Sure, hop on!” As the stranger slid off the horse on the other side, one of the companions questioned why he 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!”
For some of us, our face has said no many times. Our face has already spoken before we even open our mouths. A friend of mine always 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
Unfortunately, many coaches, athletes, teachers, neighbors, bosses, friends and church members that I knew 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. Thankfully, I had some amazing people in my life that would win the gold medal in the Yes-Face competition. 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 gold-medal winners.
Teammates watch our non-verbal communication. They know what we are saying without us saying a word. We are being evaluated during practices, conversations and interactions. They watch from a distance and want to know if they can they can trust us to get on the horse and get a ride across the river.
What does a Yes-Face say? Here are 10 defining characteristics of a Yes-Face for athletes and coaches:
A Yes-Face is simply the outward expression of an inward experience. 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 faces. 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.”
Is your face screaming no and people can’t hear your heart? What does your face say about you? If you need a face change, start with the heart and ask God to fill you with the fruit of the Spirit. He loves transforming hearts. Your face will follow your heart.
Let’s see those Yes-Faces! The sports world needs more Yes-Faces. Remember, your face is an outward expression of the inward reality of your heart. Start with the heart.
- How can a locker room full of No-Faces impact the team dynamic? How about Yes-Faces?
- Who in your life would win a Yes-Face gold medal?
- What is your face saying? What would your teammates say?
- How is God changing your heart so your teammates and others can see it on your face?
“Father, I want a Yes-Face, but I realize that it starts with the heart. Please change my heart so that my face can show it. I want my whole life to show the fruit of the Spirit, including my face. In Jesus' name, amen.”