August 2, 2017

The Smile Challenge

Bill Wilson

A happy heart makes the face cheerful… Proverbs 15:13

Someone once suggested that it takes 57 muscles to frown and only 13 to smile. Based on that, I have observed that a lot of people I meet are working much harder than they need to. Your face was designed to smile, and according to the scriptures, what is happening in your heart will be seen on your face.
As a leader and pastor I have learned the power of a smile. A smile brings comfort to those in distress. A smile will disarm those who are combative or critical. A smile will bring calmness to those who are fearful. A smile will open doors and help put people at ease. A smile is inviting and inclusive.
This was modeled for me early on in our ministry as an associate pastor. I was extremely serious and it reflected on my face. I’m sure some of this came from my inexperience and insecurity as a leader. I studied my lead pastor and watched how he could encourage, correct and lead people with a winning smile. Although he wasn’t the greatest preacher and he couldn’t sing to save his soul, his smile was a gift to everyone he met. That smile helped him make friends and lead people to Christ, and a church to impact a city. The power of a smile.
I have been in many Sunday services where I noted that those leading the service never smiled. I don’t want to seem over critical about this, but I observed very talented and skilled folks trying to lead with little inspiration or appeal. They could have had a greater impact if only they would have done one thing, SMILE. I’ve wanted to shout out, “Smile and give your face a rest.” I am convinced people in our churches and in our communities need Christ followers who SMILE!
Author Brendan Baker suggests these benefits of a smile:

Will Enhance Your Leadership
Will Make You More Attractive
Will Lift the Broken Heart of Others
Will Leave Positive Marks of Happiness on Your Face
Will Make You Feel Better
Will Help Build Better and Faster Relationships

If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face. Romans 12:6-8 (THE MESSAGE)

If there were one leadership tool I would recommend we all work on this summer, it would be the SMILE. So here is the deal, I challenge you to a 30-day smile challenge. It isn’t that hard. Give it a try for 30 straight days. Retrain your face. Relax and smile more. Let your face reflect the love and joy of the Lord!

Smiling is infectious; you can catch it like the flu. Someone smiled at me today, and I started smiling too. Author Unknown

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