Recently, I often heard people talk about the matter of “face.” Speaking of face, it is nothing more than how we are bound by it and thus can’t live free and released, how we live in pain when failing to satisfy it, or how we feel too ashamed to show our face when losing it. … Then what on earth is face? Why does it cause so much trouble to us?
The word “face” is simple, but what it brings about is endless trouble …
Does the so-called “face” really refer to our physical face? In fact, “face” is a more vivid way to say reputation, which means the image we want to maintain in social life and human contact.
We all wear masks in real life, for we all care much about face and think that we will lose it if we live out our true selves. As a result, we pursue to be perfect to others’ faces but wantonly vent our grievances behind their backs.
Because of the existence of face, we seem to have the direction to pursue and the motive force to make advance. We are always driven by an invisible force to strive for face. When satisfying it, we will be overjoyed and inspired, while when losing it, we will be discouraged.
From an individual to a nation, all are struggling for face. Satisfying face makes us incomparably honored while losing it causes us great pain. Therefore, we always desire more satisfaction of face. For this reason, we repeatedly experience the enjoyment of satisfying face and the torment of losing it for our whole life.
Being bound by face, we have never tasted the true freedom and release. Because of face, we are exhausted both physically and mentally; because of face, we become hypocritical and unnatural in our dealings with others; because of face, we become more suspicious and less honest. It is obvious to us that pursuing face brings more harm than good, but why do we still cling tightly to it?
One day, I saw God’s words say, “Any great or famous person, all people in fact, anything they follow in life relates only to these two words: ‘fame’ and ‘gain.’ Is this not so? (Yes.) People think that once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on them to enjoy high status and great wealth, and to enjoy life. Once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on them in their pleasure-seeking and unscrupulous enjoyment of the flesh. People willingly, albeit unknowingly, take their bodies, minds, all that they have, their futures and their destinies and hand them all over to Satan in order to attain the fame and gain they desire. People do this without ever a moment’s hesitation, ever ignorant of the need to recover it all. Can people still have any control over themselves once they go over to the side of Satan in this way and become loyal to it? Certainly not. They are completely and utterly controlled by Satan. They are also completely and utterly unable to free themselves from the quagmire they have sunk down into.” It turns out that the so-called face is actually the status and reputation implanted in us by Satan, that is, the “fame” and “gain” exposed by God. Comparing the revelation of God’s word with reality, we can see that fame and gain are such great bondages to us and can really do us great harm. “Reputation,” “status,” and “face” are different in the manner of speaking, but they in substance are all the shackles of “fame” and “gain.” The positive things from God bring us release, freedom, happiness, and enjoyment; while when we are constrained by fame and gain and face, what we receive is nothing but suffering. From this we can see that these are not the positive things from God, but the negative things from Satan.
After seeing and also tasting the pain caused by pursuing face and status, we should try to put aside our pursuit of fame and gain so as not to be constrained by face and status anymore; moreover, we should entrust ourselves to God and look up to Him, let God rule over and make arrangements for us, accept the life that God ordains for us, be it rich or poor, prominent or ordinary, obey and be grateful for God’s sovereignty, and calmly live each day bestowed by God. God’s words say, “When you repeatedly investigate and carefully dissect the various goals of life that people pursue and their various different ways of living, you will find that not one of them fits the Creator’s original intention when He created humanity. All of them draw people away from the Creator’s sovereignty and care; they are all pits into which humanity falls, and which lead them to hell. After you recognize this, your task is to lay aside your old view of life, stay far from various traps, let God take charge of your life and make arrangements for you, try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to have no choice, and to become a person who worships God.” I believe that one day when we awaken to God’s call and see that pursuing face and status really brings great pain and harm to us, we will be able to put down them in our heart. And then we will be truly free.