What boosts your morale? In a climate of terror, shootings, and nasty politics, we could use something to brighten our day.

In 1963, two Massachusetts insurance companies merged. Apparently, the run-of-the-mill employee was not enthused about this merger, and employee morale was pitifully low. So much so that management hired someone to fix this—and they paid a whopping $45 for his services.

They didn’t hire some slick motivational speaker. They didn’t hire a copywriter who created this infamous phrase: “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” Instead, they hired a graphic designer named Harvey Ball.

“Mr. Ball, just give us $45 worth of something—anything—to boost morale.”

Maybe they only paid him $45 because he only worked ten minutes. But this is what he came up with:

Yep. That’s it. The original smiley face. The employees were encouraged to wear the buttons as a reminder to smile when on the phone, with customers, and with each other. And apparently it worked.

And, of course, this yellow face became an icon of the 70s and became forever associated with the phrase “Have a nice day.”

It’s a nice fad that reminds me of my adolescence in the 70s, but I need something more. Harvey Ball’s smiley face may have helped an insurance company, but I need something more than a smiley face to boost my morale these days. And I’m guessing you do too. We live in a world with a seemingly never-ending pandemic. A war in Ukraine that threatens more than just the Ukrainians. Rising inflation. And have you been to the gas pump lately?

Yes, we could all use a boost, and thankfully, it is already here. We just need a reminder.

“You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).

We hurt. We grieve. The road ahead is unsure. We wonder where our country and our world are headed. But this life is not all there is. Jesus conquered sin and death. He conquered the world, and He is victorious over anything the world throws at us. The world may be falling apart, but in Christ, we are not defeated.

Let’s do all we can to make this a better place. Let’s do what we can to make this a safe place for our kids. Let’s work for justice and for what is right. Let’s shine the light of Jesus Christ in this dark hate-filled world.  But let’s also remember this world is not all there is. It is not the final answer.

Jesus is.

We need more than a morale booster. We need more than “improvements” to our earthly lives. We need Jesus. One day, those who follow Christ will follow Him into a home that is void of heartbreak, uncertainty, fear, and death. A perfect place because sin will be absent, and Jesus will be present. Living forever in the presence of Christ will give us far more than anything we could gain on this earth. Let’s work to improve this world through Jesus, but let’s keep our eyes on the world to come.

Have a nice eternity.

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This post supports the study “A Life of Victory” in Bible Studies for Life and YOU.

Join Lynn Pryor and Chris Johnson as they discuss this topic.