It would all do for us to smile more. The world would be a better place—certainly a friendlier place—if we all smiled more.

A smile can certainly diffuse a tense situation—and the news is overrun with tense situations. I’m not going soft, turning into a 62-year-old version of Barney the Dinosaur, but I have found that, if I smile, I can ease some of the tension in the room.

I have a friend who works in video production, and he has a way of naturally smiling. We were on a ten-day video shoot, and he got really upset with something that happened on set. I knew he was hopping mad because he told me he was hopping mad. Yet the whole time he was telling how mad he was, he was smiling. I kept wanting to ask, “Are you sure you’re mad?” (I kept my mouth shut; if he truly was mad, I didn’t want him to smile while he punched me.)

Another video producer advised me that, if I smile as I talk, I sound better when recording podcasts. I’ve discovered it does make a difference, but it’s taking work on my part.

We could all do to smile more, but we don’t need artificial means to do so—like this dumb product:

Humanly, we try to do things to psych ourselves up to smile, even try to be happy. We can also put on a fake smile, even if we’re seething inside. (Personally, I’d be seething if my mom tried to train my smile with a big plastic worm.) But wouldn’t it be better if our smile—our countenance—came as an overflow from what we’re experiencing inwardly?

I’m referring to joy.

Joy is not something we can manufacture on our own. Joy comes from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and it’s part of the fruit of the Spirit. As we consider the work of God in our lives—His mercy, grace, presence, salvation—we can experience joy.

“You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures” (Ps. 16:11).

Even when the road is hard, we can still experience joy.

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing” (Jas. 1:2-4).

Joy doesn’t come from you, but it comes to you as you trust Christ and let Him work. And I’m sure that joy will be seen by others—even in the simplest thing like a smile.

And the world could benefit from seeing you smile.

“A joyful heart is good medicine” (Prov. 17:22).

Read about the original smiley face: Need a Morale Booster?

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