Joy Inexpressible–Expressed


JoyI write about a lot of deep subjects here at Cerulean Sanctum. Many Godbloggers delve into hard topics and tackle weighty matters, giving difficult answers and solutions to intractable problems.

And more and more, I wonder if that’s a waste of time.

Why? Because the simplest truths and practices still escape us.

When I think of the finest Christians I have known, they have all exhibited a winsomeness that makes them attractive. I’ve written about winsomeness before. It’s one of our great lacks in the modern American Church.

Too often, we Christians in this country are viewed as sour, judgmental, curmudgeonly pains-in-the-ass. That image needs to go away—now—if we are ever going to make inroads into winning people to Jesus Christ. It’s one thing to be hated for our message. It’s another to be hated because we’re jerks.

Winsomeness starts simply: smile.

People who smile a lot draw my attention. Not those people who smile out of smug self-satisfaction (and boy, there are plenty of those in the American Church), but those who radiate the inexpressible joy of knowing Jesus.

You see, that joy inexpressible doesn’t needs words. It can show in your smile.

A bright countenance draws people. Others will share with a person who smiles. When you smile, it can raise the warmth in a room, provide a safe signal for others to open up to you, and generally make life more pleasant.

Want to know the predominant mood of people in this country? Steal a glance at drivers and passengers in the cars next to you. The number of sullen looks is astonishing. People fall into their baseline emotional state in a car because they view it as a place of privacy. But it’s not. We can see.

You be different. Be salt and light. And for heaven’s sake, smile!


5 thoughts on “Joy Inexpressible–Expressed

  1. Shona

    Dan, it’s good to read this. In the country we’re in, smiles are few and far between. So aside from the official ministry that we are in, we’ve added another one… the Ministry of Smiles. What’s astounding, is how hard it can be to change the expression on our face, how contaminated we feel by the gloom around us.

    But it does us good to smile (it changes our focus) and it does the people around us good (they sometimes end up smiling too). And we pray that the Lord is glorified.
    God bless.

  2. Mark

    I often wonder why in the world anyone would want to be a Christian as sour and cranky as we are and the way we moan and complain so much. And don’t get me started on how fearful we act. Who in their right mind would want that kind of life?

    • No one, Mark. I know a few Christians who are simply afraid of everything. Honestly, that much fear seems to negate their faith entirely.

      One thing I am trying to do is tell people when they are doing a good job. Even if it amounts to nothing more than a warm smile and good service at a fast food restaurant, I’m letting that person know that I appreciate what their effort. If that gives me an opening to share that I’m a Christian and show that not all Christians are cranky (I’ve heard that people at sit-down restaurants fresh out of church are the worst tippers), then all the better.

      We have GOT to start undoing all the bad PR the Church in America has accumulated or else no one will give us the time of day.

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