Have you ever been doing or saying something, and then “the look” on someone’s face caused you to stop or change what you were saying/doing? We often look to certain people for their (dis)approval to gauge how we’re doing.
But what if we’re looking at the wrong faces?
God called Jeremiah to be a prophet while he was still fairly young. So when this young man starts saying, “This is what God says,” can you imagine the looks he’s going to get?!?
So right out of the gate, God says two things to Jeremiah: Do not be afraid of them … Do not be terrified by them (Jer. 1:8, 17). I like how the King James Version renders these verses: Do not be afraid of their faces … Do not be dismayed by their faces.
- Afraid means to look at faces for approval.
- Dismayed or terrified means to look at faces for disapproval.
But people’s faces aren’t the faces Jeremiah — or you or I — should be looking at. The only face that matters is God’s! Look how many “I” statements God makes about Himself in this chapter —
- I formed you (v. 5a)
- I knew you in advance (v. 5b)
- I set you apart (v. 5c)
- I appointed you (v. 5d, 10)
- I am sending you (v. 7a)
- I give you the words to say (v. 7b, 17)
- I am with you (v. 8a, 19a)
- I will rescue you (v. 8b, 19b)
- I will put my words in your mouth (v. 9)
- I am watching over you (v. 12)
- I am making you strong (v. 18)
The faces of people are not how you and I should gauge (dis)approval. How sad to look at other faces for approval, only to hear God say, “Depart from Me. I never knew you!” How liberating to know that even though other faces may disapprove me, I can still hear my Master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Whose face are you looking at today?