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September 30, 2021 · Bob Gass

Use the smile strategy

“When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them.” Job 29:24 NLT

A pastor tells of being in a church for twelve years. He had a custom during Sunday morning service of calling the children forward just before his sermon so that they could go to a “children’s church” especially for them. The children would march past the pulpit, and he would make it a point to smile at each of them. In return he received smiles. “It was one of the high points of the service for me,” he recalled. But one day he apparently missed smiling at a child. A curly-headed four year old ran out of the processional and threw herself into the arms of her mother, sobbing as if her heart was broken. After the service, he went to find out what happened. The mother explained to him that her child had said, “I smiled at God, but he didn’t smile back at me!” The pastor reflected, “To that child I stood for God. I had failed with my smile, and the world went dark.” As you go through this day, commit yourself to using the smile strategy. You say, “I’ve got more troubles than Job, so I’ve got nothing to smile about.” Job experienced more troubles in a year than most of us will experience in a lifetime. But though he was down, he lifted others. Though he was in despair, he encouraged others. How did he do it? “They longed for me to speak as people long for rain…When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them” (vv. 23-24 NLT).

Bible in a year: Isaiah 53-55 and Colossians 3

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