Friday, August 5, 2011


Be encouraged.  Better yet, be an encourager.

Recently I read a verse and it spoke to me in a new way.  Job 29:4 says, "I smiled at them.  My look of approval was precious to them."

Have you ever been down but then a clerk smiles at you in the checkout line and you smile back?  You're encouraged.  Or in a reversal, a saleslady does a great job for you so you praise her and add a big grin of approval.  You've encouraged her!  It works both ways and can create a chain link.  It costs nothing.

You can even encourage yourself with a smile.  Try it.  It takes fewer muscles than frowning.  As we age our facial muscles sag, pretty much like all the others! Smiling gives you an instant face lift, increases your face value and makes you look younger.

When telemarketers are trained, they are taught to smile while speaking.  You can actually hear the difference.

The medical community also discovered the truth of the Psalmist, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."  Some patients are actually prescribed comedy TV-watching to help heal.  Chemical changes actually take place as the body produces serotonin, the happy hormone.

I'm not suggesting an ignorant approach to life, prancing Pollyanna style through our doldrums.  It's OK to sit on the pity pot occasionally.  Just don't stay there long enough to get ring-around-the-hiney!

The oldest book in the Bible chronologically reinforces my simple message today. Smile approval and spread encouragement.  If anyone had cause to drown in a frown, it was Job.  Notice it was not his three friends who lifted his spirits.  He himself knew the value of a smile.  

So whether you're having a good day or a bad one, take a cue from that wonderful missionary poet, Amy Carmichael.  

Before the winds that blow do cease,
   Teach me to dwell within Thy calm:
Before the pain has passed in peace,
   Give me, my God, to sing a psalm.
Let me not lose the chance to prove
   The fullness of enabling love.  
Oh love of God, do this for me:
   Maintain a constant victory.

One step on your Victory Road is to smile!

                                            Need a faith lift?  SMILE!

Several times this week when I needed a good laugh, I watched this and relived my friends' encouragement from last weekend.  It began as spontaneous after dinner music with the Parkers, Miles and Welches but when Ray Charles and an uninvited priest with rosary in hand showed up, it dissolved into laughter!  Be encouraged!

1 comment:

  1. Great reminder for all of us to smile more. I needed that reminder. Thanks!