"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
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!”
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.
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, he 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 FCA. 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.
What is a Yes-Face? Here are 10 defining characteristics:
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.
Father, I want a Yes-Face, but I realize that it starts with the heart. Please change my heart so my face can show it. I want my whole life to show the fruit of the Spirit, including my face. I believe that a Yes-Face will impact those around me, and You can use it for Your glory. I know that a Yes-Face reveals Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.