Use Your Smile To Change The World. Don't Let The World Change Your Smile

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22

Are you aware it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile? No wonder so many people are so tired. Enjoying a zoom call this morning with my friend Chris who was injured a couple of weeks ago in a fall through a roof that has left him paralyzed from the waist down and is currently recovering in a rehab hospital in Colorado, he reminded me that laughter is good medicine as he lay in bed with a smile on his face each time a doctor or nurse came in. Typical of Chris and what makes this young man so special is his commitment to Christ no matter what. At a moment in his life where it would be completely understandble that this young man would be focused on himself, he and his wife have chosen the high road in the mile high city where they are staying. Instead of asking ‘why’ is this happening to me, he has chosen instead to asking God, ‘what’ is it that you would have me to do?

Chris was sharing with me this morning that he wanted to be a light for others and that he didn’t want to be a burden on them but rather he wanted the hospital staff and visitors to look forward to coming to his room throughout their shift. He was acutely aware in just a couple days after his arrival that the rehab hospital where he is recovering is a facility that can be a very stressful work environment due to the nature of the patients they treat so he has already determined to be a beacon of hope and a source of joy to the hard working staff there. The more I listened to him the more I was encouraged in my own journey of faith. He reminds me of what the apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others”.

One of the reasons this particular rehab hospital is so successful is that they treat the whole person and not just the physical injury. We can’t forget that as human beings we are made up of three distinct and yet tightly interwoven qualities. We are body, soul and spirit and each feeds off of and receives from the other. What we think effects how we feel and vice versa. As for our spirit, the medicine that makes for a cheerful heart is the unwavering truth of God’s Word. Joy is the inheritance of the child of God, not faked or momentary cheer, but a deep knowing and abiding faith in God’s sovereignty.

We each then have the ability to bring happiness and joy into any situation we encounter today when we bring Jesus into it. When we seek to focus the light of our own lives on Jesus and to make Him known to those we come in contact, the Lord is made manifest and when that happens we are able to experience for ourselves what the psalmist celebrated in Psalm 16:11, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

The best way we can cheer others up is making them the focus of our attention and likewise the best way we can bring joy to people’s lives is to bring Jesus to them for after all, its in His presence where we experience the fullness of joy!

“A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance”

Proverbs 15:13


Michael Osthimer





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