27th April 2013

Keep Smiling!

A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.”
Proverbs 15:13 (MSG) 

Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too!
I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin,
When he then smiled I realised I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile, then realised its worth,
A single smile could travel on, right around the earth.
So if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected,
Let’s start an epidemic quick And get the world infected!

Smiling – it’s a contagious thing, and one of the few things in life that costs nothing but gives something.  Perhaps you also know the song ‘When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you’, sung by notable artists such as Louis Armstrong, Shirley Bassey, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin amongst others. 

But is smiling a good thing? Certainly there exists some rather compelling empirical research encouraging us to smile: for example it uses fewer muscles than frowning; it relieves stress; you live longer, look younger, etc.  So you would think there ought to be references to smiling in the Bible, but actually there are very few.  One is Job 9:27), and even then it depends on the translation you are reading. 

You would think there should be reference to Jesus Christ smiling, but I couldn’t find any.  Clearly he was a man of human emotions, (“Jesus wept.” John 11:35), so it is difficult to imagine how people would be attracted to Him, (which they were judging by the crowds), if he was a person who did not smile.  

Smiling is considered body language, which is instant and fleeting; so perhaps it is not surprising that gospel authors, who wrote sometimes many years later, did not recount Jesus’ body language – but would you think to record that someone was smiling? 

So I let myself believe Jesus Christ smiled … a lot!  And I think having revealed to us the gift of God’s grace we have a lot to smile about too, whatever our woes. 

Smiling can make you change your mood, and change the mood of others.  So let’s read again the first part of Proverbs 15:13, “A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face….” but consider also that a smile on your face makes other hearts cheerful too. 

Lord, whatever my personal trials and tribulations, help me to smile at others today.


 irenetibbenhamAbout the Author:
Irene Tibbenham is a deaconess in the Norwich congregation.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Norwich
New Hope Christian Centre
Martineau Lane

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Tony Goudie
Phone: 01508 498165
Mobile: 07931 580409
Email:  tony_goudie@wcg.org.uk

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