Medusa, a monster in Greek Mythology, with snakes instead of hair. Some sources say she was ugly, but I think she would have been beautiful, for how else would she be able to turn men to stone, since they had to look at her. Her countenance would have been beautiful and beguiling.
So, what does this have to do with our countenance. I guess the first place to start is with a definition of the word from Merriam-Webster:
1. a. look or expression b. mental composure c. calm expression
2. Face, Visage
3. bearing or expression that offers approval or sanction, moral support.The Bible talks about countenance quite a few times so it must be a little important, right. Cain, had a bad countenance when he got angry at Abel and God because his offering was not excepted.
Sarah (Abraham's wife) had a beautiful countenance even in her old age, so beautiful in fact that Abraham was afraid to call her his wife around certain people for fear they would kill him for her.
There are many more examples of these kinds of things, here are a few verses that talk about countenance that can help us in our daily lives....
"A merry heart makes a cheerful , But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." Proverbs 15:13
"The north wind brings forth rain, And a backbiting tongue an angry ." Proverbs 25:23
"As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the of his friend." Proverbs 27:17When we look at the definition and compare the word to the verses we see exactly what God wants to tell us.
If we have a merry heart we will have a cheerful countenance. Does that mean even in bad times? I think so. It is hard to smile when times are bad, but if you try.... I also think, if a merry heart makes a cheerful countenance then the reverse is also true that a cheerful countenance can make the heart merry.
The way we talk to others also has an effect on the countenance of ourselves and our friends (or enemies). Backbiting, to say mean or spiteful things about someone (such as a person who is not present). Not only do you hurt the person you are speaking about and when they find out the get angry, but it also effects you the same way. The anger and bitterness wells up in you and you have a bad, angry countenance.
The way our faces look effects those around us, as well as ourselves. I am very bad at smiling and looking "happy". I maybe happy and at "peace" but my face seldom shows it. I know this about myself and I really want to work on it. I have spent the better part of my 58 years not making my face show my true feelings... sometimes I am sad and depressed and so my face is being honest. There are other times when it is not. The thing is we can put on a good countenance even when times are bad as I stated before, and as a result, maybe just maybe our depressed, angry, hurt, or sad mood will change.
Our faces tell a story, whether it is fiction or truth... I am working to make my countenance reflect what God wants it to reflect. Thanks for reading and God bless you all.