By:Dennis Bates

A recent news article reported that studies have shown that happy people live longer lives than sad people do. Really? Now there’s a shock. There are no guarantees, of course, but the findings were that happiness is good for your mental and physical health.

I have thought for a long time that the difference between a good time and a bad time can be as simple as a smile. A positive attitude doesn’t hurt either. Ask yourself: who would you rather be around, someone who is happy, or someone that is sad? That’s a fairly easy one as far as I’m concerned.

Someone who is honestly happy is more fun to be around. They can turn an unpleasant task into something that is bearable.

This morning, for example, I was scheduled for a medical procedure at 7:30. The office is a good 15 miles from my house and it’s on the other side of the city. I needed to be there early to do the obligatory paperwork. That meant I had to set my alarm for sometime before six to get there in time. Did I mention that I hate mornings? Well I do.

When I walked into the office  the only person there was the technician  who was going to perform the test. None of the administrative support people had arrived. I was tired and not looking forward to the procedure although it was totally noninvasive. It still required me to lay still on my back for a half hour and be a good little boy.

The technician met me with a smile and cheery words. It was the same time for him as it was for me and yet he was cheery. It made things so much more pleasant to have someone smile and be cheery.

It made me think about how I come off to others a lot of the time. Do I come off happy so I make others comfortable, or do I come off like a grump and makes others wish they were somewhere else, dealing with a different person?

The title to one of the most covered songs of all time is “Smile.” I’m sure you’ve heard it. The lyrics in part are as follows:

Smile though your heart is aching

Smile even though it’s breaking

When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by

If you smile through your fear and sorrow

Smile and maybe tomorrow

You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness

Hide every trace of sadness

Although a tear may be ever so near

That’s the time you must keep on trying

Smile, what’s the use of crying?

You’ll find that life is still worthwhile

If you just smile.

As Christians, we know that the joy of the Lord is our strength. If we want to show that strength to others, then the words of this song are particularly applicable. All we have to do to get started is smile. It will make others take notice and help give your life the tonic it may need.


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