"Smile and the world smiles with you."
Recently, I read some interesting facts indicating that the old adage is really true! Researcher and Psychologist, Daniel Goleman, along with his associates, did a study on the "bottom line performance" of companies. They discovered that the thing which influences a company's bottom line performance more than anything else is the mood of the leader.
Hmmmm -- now, that's interesting. If you are a leader, and everything is a big mess -- the first thing to start fixing is your own attitude! This applies in business, school, sports teams, church, and home. If you don't like what's going on around you, it's time to change what's going on within you!
"A cheerful heart is good medicine", Proverbs 17:22. Or, as Madeleine L' Engle said, A good laugh heals a lot of hurts."
We cannot afford to allow little nit-picky annoyances to rob us of joyful health. We were created for joy. We were made to laugh. When the worries and burdens of life bind us up and squeeze the happiness out of our soul, we are living below our rightful inheritance as children of God.
"Mirth is God's medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it," said Henry Ward Beecher, "Grim care, moroseness, anxiety -- all this rust of life - ought to be scoured off by the oil of mirth.
"Unfortunately, people have the mistaken notion that Christians are a miserable lot. "Are you a minister?" someone asked a gentleman. "No," he replied, "I just have bad gas.
"A little kid, visiting his grandfather's farm, observed the sorry looking mule. "Poor ol' mule," the boy declared, "I think he has Grandpa's religion.
"It ought not to be so! Christian people have the privilege of being the happiest people in the whole world!I agree with C. S. Lewis, who said, "Joy is the serious business of heaven."
Jesus reminded us of this heavenly attitude when he said, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you -- and that your joy may be full." Joy is the natural result of spiritual health. Fear, worry, resentment, and other "joy robbers" are symptoms of spiritual disease. They need to be released if the joy is going to flow.
Just a few practical pointers on how to have a joyful life:
1. Don't take yourself so seriously -- nobody else does!
2. Worry is the "red light" that indicates a low joy level.
3. Joy comes by voluntarily serving others.
4. Enjoy the little things each day. Take time to stop and smell the roses.
5. Focus on joy in the hard times. Remember -- This too shall pass!
6. Share life honestly with a good friend. This will divide the sorrows and double the joys.
7. Look for the humor in every situation.
"Give me a sense of humor, Lord.
Give me grace to take a joke.
To get some happiness from life
And pass it on to other folk." -- Chester Cathedral