It Only Takes a Smile — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

It Only Takes a Smile — Morning Devotions

A smile is a mighty powerful thing. It improves your looks; it makes you healthier, and it helps those around you.

By Chris WittsThursday 6 Jun 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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If you’re a parent, I’m sure you remember your newborn child and watched this baby in absolute fascination as he or she grew. Do you recall the first time the baby smiled?

It was a wonderful occasion, wasn’t it? There’s something magical about a smile when a baby smiles at you; you smile back. It’s automatic. Hard to put into words. Smiling appears to be deeply rooted in our beings as humans.

A smile costs nothing and doesn’t have to be taught or grown into. It can happen automatically. Billions of dollars are spent every year on products and treatments that straighten, clean and whiten our teeth, colour our lips and focus attention on our eyes, eyelids and facial characteristics to enhance our smiles. Some of those billions of dollars are used to pay for ads and commercials in the media to try to convince us to buy various products. Smiles can get you into trouble sometimes. Maybe you can probably recall at least one instance when you smiled and found yourself in trouble, I know I have.

The power of a smile

Author, journalist and psychologist Daniel Goleman said the act of smiling can promote good feelings. Experiments have been held, and researchers have found that saying the word cheese causes you to smile, which in turn creates pleasant feelings. But saying the word few created a different facial difference resulting in negative emotions. After all, It takes 37 muscles to frown and 22 muscles to smile. Smiling conserves energy.

Mother Teresa used to say, “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love”. How long do you believe you could smile and keep on smiling without stopping? How long could you hold a smile on your face?

Do you know what is the record of smiling in the Guinness World Records? Ten hours and 5 minutes. A little lady named Lisa Lester smiled for 10 hours and 5 minutes without breaking that smile. She broke the old record of 7 hours and 32 minutes. And then she had to stop smiling.

Smiling isn’t just a movement of your face muscles; it’s what your face does when your heart is glad. Many people have nothing to smile about. Their life is empty and without meaning. Money won’t give you a deep-down smile—it may for a few hours.

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Do you know what the Bible says? “A happy heart makes the face cheerful” (Proverbs 15:13 -NIV). Your heart controls your face. If your heart is gloomy, your face is grumpy. If your heart is happy, your face is cheerful.

A happy heart

A happy heart is an amazing thing. By giving you a smile and a facelift without surgery, a happy heart improves your looks. And that’s not all—it also improves your health. Happiness is just plain good for you, while grouchiness is harmful.

The Bible also says in Proverbs 17:22 (NIV), “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones”.

Medical research confirms that biblical proverb. If your spirit is in bad shape, it weakens you and damages your health. When you’re gloomy and stressed out, it drains your immune system. It causes ulcers and insomnia. It can even cause high blood pressure and heart attacks. Sometimes the best medicine doesn’t come in a pill or an injection but in a big dose of joy and laughter. “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” There is such a thing as a healthy laugh.

Another good thing about a happy heart and a cheerful look is the impact on others. A genuine, joyful smile can do something for the people around you. To quote another biblical proverb, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health” (Proverbs 15:30 – NLT)

Smiles and positive words can make other people happier and healthier. When you’re in a restaurant enjoying a good meal, it tastes even better when the person serving you is pleasant and cheerful. A grouchy server can almost ruin your meal unless the server is so grumpy it’s funny. Think of your school or the place where you work. If all you get are scowls and growls, your day seems pretty bleak. Isn’t your day a lot brighter when the people around you are cheerful and encouraging?

So, then, a smile is a mighty powerful thing. It improves your looks; it makes you healthier, and it helps those around you. A smile is what your face does when your heart is glad. So even if you agree that smiling is a good thing, you can’t just plaster a silly grin all over your face. You need something deep within you that makes your heart happy. It takes a happy heart to make your face cheerful.

The Psalmist in Psalm 4 was David. He felt depressed many times, and yet when he stopped in the presence of God he was able to say, “You have filled me with joy, and happiness has risen in my heart, great delight and unrivalled joy” (Psalm 4:7 – The Voice).

A smile may help to lift our load
When filled with anxious care
But trusting God brings inner peace
And joy beyond compare.