Are we in danger sometimes of appearing too serious? Being a Christian is a serious business, but it’s also joyful. If we are not careful though, ‘serious’ can come over as gloomy, depressing or even critical and ‘joyful’ as flippant or insensitive. So how did Jesus come over?
We have only recently watched the “St Matthew” videos where in nearly every scene Bruce Marchiano was smiling or even laughing. I found this challenging and couldn’t help wondering, “Did Jesus really smile all the time?” So far as I know, there is nowhere in the New Testament where it says Jesus smiled or laughed, although there are instances where He displayed emotion. But He was so in tune with His Father and so full of love that I’m sure He couldn’t help but smile.
There was a period some years ago, when I was so intensely aware of God’s presence, that I seemed to break out into smiles at the drop of a hat. So where am I now? I believe I am more in touch with who I am and the joy has probably gone deeper, but do I really let what’s on the inside show on the outside?
I offer these three thoughts on the subject:
Show a smile
I’ve noticed what a difference it makes when I smile at someone. There’s usually an immediate response, often followed by a warm exchange. By a smile I mean a sensitive heart smile, not the sort that could make the checkout girl think you were up to something.
See the humorous side:
Even during really trying times, it can help to see the humorous side of things. Like the time when my wife broke her leg and I had to push her around in a wheelchair for several weeks, despite the fact that I was suffering from chronic fatigue. I am sure that it was God who showed me His perspective on this trying experience. I even wrote about it (here) and that in itself was releasing.
Just have a good laugh:
I can just imagine Jesus jesting with His disciples and enjoying a good laugh together. I know I need to laugh more. It is tremendously releasing to have a good hearty laugh with friends. It may not seem very spiritual, but I am told that it releases all sorts of goodies into our system to promote wellbeing and good health.
“Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!” Philippians 4:4
"When I smiled at them, they could hardly believe it; their faces lit up, their troubles took wing! Job 29:24
"A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face," Proverbs 15:13 All quotes from The Message Bible