Contagious Cheerfulness

“A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
    but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed….
All the days of the afflicted are evil,
    but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
    than great treasure and trouble with it…
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
    and a word in season, how good it is!..
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
    and good news refreshes the bones.” Proverbs 15:13,15-16,23,30

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
    but a good word makes him glad.” Proverbs 12:25

“A joyful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

“God loves a cheerful giver… He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.  By their approval of this service, they will glorify God.” 2 Corinthians 9:7b,10-13

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice…  I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Philippians 4:4,11b

“Rejoice always,.. give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16,18

Cheerfulness resides in the soul that is not self-consumed, but Spirit-filled and content. All of life is a gift, and the opportunity to live another day an opportunity to be joyful and bring attention to the Giver and Lord of every good gift. A thankful heart begets a positive outlook, which leads to a cheerful countenance, that in turn spreads to a contagious expectant attitude. A cheerful word does much to lift the burdened, raise the eyes, and gladden the heart. Cheerful service conveys value and love, and cheerful giving models godliness and awakens gratitude and praise to a generous God. (James 1:17)

And just as cheerfulness is contagious, so are rancor, whining, fretting, negativity, and a critical spirit. So are irritability and crankiness. Whether I keep my head in a cloud of doom, or one made light with God’s presence, will determine the atmosphere in my home, workplace, and surroundings. What am I looking for, what am I spreading, and what do I want to spread? Do I see the smile or scatter on the sidewalk? The soul-sick are in need of infectious cheer from a smile or a word, and I can make a difference. (Exodus 13:21-22; Proverbs 15:1)

Can I learn to let harsh and hurt slide off my back? Can I be big enough not to be touchy, nor return evil for evil, but respond with grace? The indwelling Spirit can bridle the tongue and face into a soft answer and loving expression. If I deliberately bless others, the Lord blesses in return, and joy spills over to abound. For what legitimate reason would we not seek the good and rejoice in God’s riches owned as His children? (Romans 12:17; Ephesians 1:3,11-14; 1 Peter 3:9)

Good Father, imprint and identify me by a steady, unshakable cheerfulness that is irresistible to the world and glorifying to You.

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