Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Amazing Power of a Smile

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.  –Proverbs 15:13 

Some days is seems that nothing is going right: problems begin piling up, those around us start to get on our nerves, and we find that wearing a smile is next to impossible.  On such a day did you find yourself not only failing to smile, but you were nearly snarling at anyone who crossed your path?  Indeed, we have all had days like that at one time or another.  How is it possible to rise above such an outlook and brighten our mood even when nothing appears to be going our way?  The answer lies in looking to the Lord to empower us to change our attitude.

My wife, Andrea, is able to smile in the worst of circumstances.  I know because I watched her endure months of chemotherapy and radiation, followed by cancer surgery, and she smiled all the way through.  But me?  I’m not so sure.  However, I have been told that I smile often.  In fact, a gentleman I used to see at the Little League field when my sons played baseball approached me once and said, “Dan, I don’t know how you do it; you are always smiling.” Wow; that was one of the nicest comments anyone ever said to me – seriously!  I do try to smile regularly, but I confess that I have to work at it. 

Here is my point: smiling can have a wonderfully powerful affect on our mood and outlook.  If you are having a rough day, pray for God’s help and smile; you will begin to feel better.  When problems and stress are mounting in your life, pray and ask the Lord to give you the power to handle it all and then smile at those around you; again, you will begin to feel better.  You see, when we smile, what follows tends to be positive words and kindness rather than mean and hateful words.  I am much more likely to be kind to those around me when I am smiling than if I am frowning.  If I am smiling I am far more likely to make positive statements than negative. 

The next time someone you don’t want to talk to calls you one the phone, make yourself smile throughout the conversation.  The person on the other end will “hear”  the smile in your tone of voice.  By the end of the conversation you will feel much better than you did at the beginning.  Such is the power of a “cheerful face” as described in the book of Proverbs.   

As followers of Christ we are commanded by the Lord Jesus to be salt and light in a troubled and hateful world (Matthew 5:13, 14).  Let others see Jesus Christ in us.  

Here’s a great way to help make that happen: smile.

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