I know people like that, don’t you? People you just love to be around. People who make you smile and laugh. People you are glad you met.
I met a beautiful couple like that just this week and their spirit reminded me of what I want my life to look like. They were not merely polite–they wore a kind smile, and more importantly, they had a kind heart.
“A merry heart doeth good like medicine.” Proverbs 17:22
I know and have seen this verse to be very true, haven’t you? Maybe someone’s face comes to mind when you read it. If you have been the recipient of that kind of biblical medicine, you know what a benefit it can be emotionally and spiritually and sometimes even physically.
Why, then, don’t we choose it more often, knowing it is the better choice?
When my children were small and would wake up on the grumpy side of the bed, I would ask them a simple question to motivate them toward a better attitude:
“Who is it that chooses whether you will have a good day or a bad day today?”
A gentle reminder that so often it is a choice. Even when we wake up with gum in our hair or our favorite breakfast cereal is all gone–we can have a “No good, very bad day” like Alexander from one of our story books, or we can choose to see the good in every situation.
Deep down it’s what we really desire even if it seems illusive–until we run into that one person that always seems to have a smile on their face or an encouraging word to say.
And we are reminded that there is still goodness in the world.
If we aren’t careful we might be tempted to question their authenticity–or your cynicism might even challenge them to remain so. Negativity can easily squash an opponent, but a simple choice to swallow the “good medicine” can turn your hurting, grieving or tired heart into the tiniest of smiles.
If you see the blessing that a person like that can be in your life, should it not lead us to the obvious conclusion that maybe–just maybe–we could be that for someone else? Not seeing this as coincidence, if we instead see joy vs. happiness the way God sees it, often He will open the door of opportunity for you to put this into practice.
In my half-century of life I have seen two common threads that seem to always be woven into the fabric of a life that is cheerful:
A cheerful life not only contains joy, but it produces joy.
The misguided notion that circumstances or possessions can bring joy will leave you feeling empty. Only as we are filled with God’s truth can we overflow with His love, His joy, and His peace. As we begin to fully understand how much God loves us, gratitude will fill our heart for who He is and what He has done, and the result? Joy.
“We wait for the Lord; HE is our help and shield. For our hearts rejoice in Him, because we trust His holy name.” Psalm 33:20-21
[*This post was shared on Salt & Light’s weekly link-up Facebook page]