My grandson Landon and his infectious smile (Photo proof courtesy of Karen Goforth, Irresistible Portraits)
I took my 3-month-old grandson Landon to have his picture taken at Irresistible Portraits in Kannapolis, NC, yesterday. I watched as he smiled, cooed, laughed, and grinned at everyone he met. Before long, I noticed everyone else was smiling too. Landon spreads joy wherever he goes. He is such a happy baby. He gives others the gift of his smile.
A smile blesses others.
I take care of Landon on Mondays and Tuesdays while his parents work. After just two weeks, I have noticed how much lighter and happier I feel on those days. I laugh and smile more on those days than the other days of the week combined. Landon’s smiles have that effect. They’re big, joyous, and full of delight.
When we smile at others, they get the message that we notice and care about them. A smile can communicate love, acceptance, encouragement, and support—without any words. A smile tells someone else, “You matter.”
Scientists have also discovered that if someone receives a smile from somebody else, then they are more likely to start smiling themselves; all those smiles produce chemical changes in the brain that make us feel better. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile)
Of course, the Lord who made us knows all of this: “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Prov. 17:22, NASB).
A smile serves as a gift that can brighten someone else’s day. We can bless many lives if we choose to smile at others as we go about our day.
A smile blesses us.
Even making ourselves smile when we don’t feel like it releases endorphins (happy hormones) when our brains recognize the facial muscle patterns common to a smile. (http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/7-benefits-smiling-and-laughing.html) In other words, deliberately choosing to smile can help us to feel happy when we’re upset. We can choose to move ourselves away from sorrow and toward happiness.
Having trouble faking a smile? “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face” (Prov. 15:13, NASB). If we would make our minds think about good things, then a smile is sure to follow. Philippians 4:8, NASB, tells us, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Choosing to be thankful generates smiles, too. Those kinds of thoughts will have us smiling in no time.
The smiles come from God.
I remember entering church many years ago with a heavy heart. I had allowed the world to get to me, and I was feeling discouraged and disheartened. When I entered the church doors, my pastor was standing there, and he smiled at me. In that moment, I sensed it wasn’t my pastor but Jesus who was smiling at me. The warmth of the Lord’s love filled my heart through that simple smile. I was both startled and comforted at the same time.
The smiles we give and the smiles we receive from others are sent by God to brighten the world in His name. He often uses smiles to lift His countenance upon us and shine His face upon us (Numbers 6:25-26).
We are told when we look to the Lord, our faces will be radiant (Psalm 34:5). He puts a smile on our face because He is our God (Psalm42:11). When we look at the Lord, we can’t help but smile . . . because He is smiling at us.
Question: What are some of your suggestions for sharing smiles with others? Comment at the link below.
Susan Jane King