Monday, March 2, 2015

Laughing the Blues Away - Martin Wiles

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Proverbs 17:22 NLT

Laughter is good for the soul.

My mother is an expert at getting freebies. So when she heard about a local promoter giving away free tickets for a comedy show to pastors and their wives, she made the contact. Even though my father has been dead for five years—and my mom has since remarried, she still considers herself a pastor’s wife. And though I’m not currently serving as a full-time pastor, she still considers me a pastor as well. Sure enough, the promoter granted us tickets, and we struck out for a night of laughs from three Christian personalities. We needed the laughs. All of us had endured a stressful three weeks. A night away seemed to be the perfect ticket. 

The old cliché that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile has been around in one form or another for many years. Variables involved in actually proving the truth of how many muscles it requires to do each are also numerous. But the conclusion remains steadfast: smiling is better for your health than frowning.

People respond to facial expressions—especially a smile. The expression, give a smile to get a smile, is accurate most of the time. Frowning at someone who is smiling at me is extremely difficult, and if I’m smiling others will normally reciprocate. 

On bad days, I can smile myself into a better mood. If I choose to smile, my attitude will usually follow. While there are certainly times when I need to frown—such as in times of grief, smiling helps me reinterpret my circumstances and drive away the everyday woolies. After all, a broken spirit dries the bones. 

More energy is expended by frowning and adopting a negative attitude than it is by smiling and cuddling a positive frame of mind. Smiles relive stress. When stress is diminished, the immune system is boosted, blood pressure is lowered, and I stay positive. 

Who can you share a smile with today?

Prayer: Eternal Lord and Savior, when the world around us needs a smile, enable us to give them one. 

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