Poker Face

People try to maintain a poker face – keeping a straight face so that no one can see what they are thinking or feeling. 

Acts 14:8-20

Reference: He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed (Acts 14:9 NIV)

Explore: The other day I caught up with a group of friends. We hadn’t seen each other for such a long time and it was great to all sit around a meal and catch up on everyone’s news.

We all seemed to pick up where we had left off. Bronwyn updated us on how she was coping with her elderly father moving into the family home, Melanie laughed about the challenges of juggling a young family as well as a part time job, and Emma spoke glowingly of her growing children.

As far as our initial conversations, everything seemed to be going swimmingly. However, as soon as Emma left the table to go to the bathroom we all revealed our real thoughts.

While Emma had spoken pleasantly about her family life we could see a different picture reflected in her face. She had lost weight, her eyes were drawn, and she had lost the brightness in her smile.

While her words said one thing, the look on her face said another.

As the meal continued our conversation moved from general chit-chat to deeper thoughts. Soon our impressions of Emma’s situation were revealed to be true.

Her husband had lost his job and finances were tough. They had committed to a substantial mortgage and, to make ends meet, Emma had needed to return to work sooner than planned.

Here she sat, holding the financial burden for her family, as well as feeling incredibly guilty for not spending enough time with her children. While we were devastated by her current situation we were not surprised to hear that there were issues going on.

Application: People try to maintain a poker face – keeping a straight face so that no one can see what they are thinking or feeling. However, most people struggle to hide their raw emotions.

This can sometimes get us in trouble when we reveal our distaste for something, however, it can also help us to communicate how we truly feel.

When Paul was preaching the word of Jesus he met thousands of people. This passage in Acts speaks of a lame man who Paul encountered.

It says that Paul could ‘see he had faith’. I’m not sure what that look is like, but it’s one that I would be proud to have.

If we had complete integrity then everything we say and do would shine through in how we look. The biggest question is, what do people see when they look at us?

Prayer: Lord, when we give ourselves completely to You, then Your love and grace flows through everything we do. May we connect so strongly to You that people just have to look at us to notice the difference You have made in our lives. Amen.

What do people see when they look at you?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.