Last week I got to experience the film Compelled By Love starring Roland and Heidi Baker’s story. I was proud to say that my son, Lyle was featured in the film. The emotions I felt, the awe of being totally sold out to Jesus is truly phenomenal. At the beginning of the film is an artist who starts painting a picture and you will see this throughout the film the stages of the piece, then at the end you see the final work. The final picture is of Jesus with a contagious smile! It makes you feel as though Jesus is happy, that He loves you and He wants you to smile. Not only for His sake does He want you to smile but for your sake and the sake of others. It’s contagious!
Annalise our granddaughter is only 4 months old. There is such a love connection when she totally trusts you to take care of her. She looks at you with those blue eyes and as you talk to her and smile, she crinkles up her nose and smiles so big with her gums showing. She smiles with her eyes. It makes anyone talking to her want to get her to smile. It is a smile that is rewarding even if it only last for just a few seconds. I am looking forward to hearing her laugh and giggle throughout the house. A smile, the emotion of trust and total happiness.
As a leader/pastor I love smiling. I love smiling at people as I pass by, taking time to look into their eyes as if it is Jesus smiling back at me. What a difference we can make if we just stop for the one regardless of how we feel at the time and smile. Sometimes its hard for me especially because I am so caught up in the task or in my own thoughts of what I must get done I forget to look at the person in my busy schedule, however it is never my intention to ignore and I am learning to slow down and take time to the most valuable source on the planet… people!
This experience has made me realize how important smiling is. It is important for at least five reasons according to Michael Hyatt.
- It helps others relax. When you scowl or look too intense, it creates a primal reaction in others. Their defenses go up. They become protective and guarded.
This is the exact opposite of what you want to happen if you are trying to influence them. A smile communicates that you are safe and can be trusted.
- It draws people to you. Have you ever noticed how you are attracted to people who smile and laugh a lot? The positive energy is contagious. You instinctively smile in response.
The simple fact is that people naturally want to be around people who are happy. If you want others to follow you, you can start by smiling more.
- It enables you to connect. Smiling is one of the best, quickest ways to connect with anyone from any culture. Even if you don’t speak the same language, a smile is universally appreciated.
It opens the door, welcomes people into your world, and communicates acceptance. Even if people are frustrated or angry, a smile can often turn them around. In that moment you forge a connection.
- It creates positive culture. If you want to change the culture of an organization, change the behavior of its leaders. People naturally play “follow the leader.” When leaders smile, everyone smiles.
Smiles communicate that your organization is a happy place to work. And who doesn’t want to work where people are smiling and happy?
- It elevates your mood. This is one of the surprising benefits of smiling. I had no idea. It literally affects you at a biological level, releasing endorphins and serotonin.
Smiling has numerous physical and psychological benefits, including relieving stress, lowering your blood pressure, and boosting your immune system. And it’s much cheaper and healthier than drugs.
Seriously, set a goal to smile more this year. Recruit an accountability partner. Set reminders. Whatever it takes. As a leader, it will help ensure you have a positive impact on the people you are leading. Relieve stress from your daily life right now… smile!
John 10:10…. Jesus said, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness”.
Jesus is smiling always…. so why can’t we?…be contagious!