There is a young guy that works at a local pharmacy counter. He has the most contagiously happy face I have ever seen from a store employee. He greets everyone with a cheery attitude, even the older folks that some workers would be impatient with. Every time I go in, I leave smiling and thinking about how refreshing it is to experience his sunny personality. Last time I was there I left reflecting on my own face. I began to think about what my resting face does for, or should I say to, others. Yikes! Is my resting face scaring people? How often do we pass people with a sour expression that looks like they ate a lemon or want to hit someone. In those moments, I usually stop and take inventory of my own face. Is that what I look like? Is my resting face happy, or at least neutral, or is it scaring people? Does anyone really care? Should I practice smiling more? Proverbs 15:13 says, “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance…” So maybe it is not about my face at all, maybe it’s about my heart. Most of us do not drive down the road alone with our "A game" face on. Still, I would like to grow this merry heart of mine until my face more frequently shows it. Remember that childhood song, “If you’re happy and you know it then your face will truly show it…” Great, but what if you are not feeling happy? What if you are sad or angry? We all go through happy, sad, angry, mad, but what about the rest of the time? “…The joy of the Lord is your strength,” Nehemiah 8:10. In tough times, we can still look to what the Lord has done and is doing and find joy, His joy. The joy of the Lord is not found in what happens around you. It is found in relationship with Him. In Proverb 15 above, the word merry means joyful or glad. A joyful heart is a merry heart, and a merry heart impacts more than our countenance. According to other Proverbs, a merry heart has a continual feast and does good like medicine. The idea of a continual feast on the goodness of God sounds very appetizing. And as far as medicine is concerned, there is enough of that out there in the natural world. I am thankful for all the good things medicine has brought us, however, I get excited about the idea that a merry heart does the body good like medicine. How do we get and continue in that merry heart? Continue to look to the goodness of God. Be intentional about laughing more. Look at laughing baby videos if it will help. Embrace the love of Jesus for us in every situation. Acknowledge “that all things work together for good to those who love God…” Romans 8:28 (NKJV) Lastly, we help one another. “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17 (NKJV). This application may be a bit of a stretch, but I wrote this to encourage us all, to sharpen us all, so that our countenance may reflect the inward work of God in our lives. Instead of a scary resting face, I pray that the peace and the joy of the Lord shines through our countenance.
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