Isaiah 50:4-7 – The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught … Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.
Psalm 111:10 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
Sometimes it is necessary to "harden our faces," as it were, against what is wrong in a multitude of guises. The love of God does not tolerate evil, nor does he expect his people to. But we need to be sure of our ground. We need to seek the face of God, before we proceed to harden ours.
In the home with our children, even loving them as we do, we often have to "harden our faces", as we become aware of harmful habits and potentially dangerous attitudes and associations. And it is because we love them, though they may call us mean and unfair.
The life of a well-known Canadian actress was the subject of a TV documentary a few months ago. Three of her grown-up children were being interviewed and they were describing their mother's strength of character. They chuckled as together they recalled instances from their childhood, how their mother could control them with what they called The Look. There was a definite limit, beyond which they did not go. When they saw The Look, that was the end of the line, time to change the subject. As adults looking back, they were grateful.
Prayer: Almighty God, we pray that you will give us the wisdom and the strength to stand firm when you have made plain to us your will. Amen.