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Unveiled Faces

Why do we live so much of our lives so out of touch with the glory we possess? Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” This is true and a promise to be sure, but a rare sight to see God’s glory on the face of His children.

In the same passage, Paul reminds us about how Moses used to wear a veil to hidethe fading glory that was on his face from spending time with God. He spoke ofhow we are not to be like Moses who put a veil over his face. We are unveiledbefore God and the world displaying the wonder of loving God and being lovedby Him.

How different do we who hold the glory of God inside of us by way of the HolySpirit appear to those of this world who do not have God’s glory in them?Do we drive differently? Do we treat others differently? Do our faces look different?What is it that displays God’s glory on our unveiled faces?

I just finished reading C.S. Lewis’ classic retelling of the Greek mythof Cupid and Psyche called Till We Have Faces. The narrator Orual figuresout at a very young age that she is ugly. This leads her as an adult (along withshame about something she doesn’t fully understand) to wear a veil to coverher face. She lives her whole life until just before her death believing thatshe is basically good and wise, just plagued with outward ugliness. Her adventurewith the gods helps her discover the real truth about herself, that she was notas selfless in her loving as she once thought, and that she has been beautifulall along.

This story reminded me of Paul’s thoughts about all of us believers. We,like Orual, are trapped by our own limited self-knowledge. The things we do whichare good and well thought of by others may indeed mean little to God, who knowsour true hearts in the matter. The things for which we feel deep shame, mainlyfrom our fear of men may be totally erroneous from God’s point of view.God’s glory is not something we do, but something we accept. The real gloryof God is revealed through our faces as we simply stop trying to be gloriouscreatures and accept that we are transformed into glorious creatures by the Spiritof God.

Focusing on man’s measures of value will always leave us trapped in unattainable,just-out-of-our-reach standards for greatness. God invites us to look withinrather than without, to see our real glory. We each are beautiful and gloriouscreatures as we are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasingglory, which comes from the Holy Spirit within us. Glory is never about whatyou do or how you treat people. Glory is about how much you allow the Spiritof God to transform your soul. Take off your veil that keeps you from knowingwho you really are in God’s mirror.

 

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