I love to watch people …especially their faces. You can read a lot about a person by the expression they wear. It’s fascinating to note during the Christmas season – a season that should be filled with joy and happiness – how many people wear downcast, harried, and pained expressions. I love to look for ways to bring the gift of joy into my interactions with others.
Joy is contagious! Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine…” and I know my own attitude can have a positive influence – good medicine – on others around me. Now, I’m not advocating telling jokes to the stranger in the line behind you to try to make them smile. That will probably backfire! But, smiling and being observant – even asking if they would like to go ahead of you in the line if it appears they are in a hurry – could be a very special gift to them.
Synonyms for joy include “cheer,” “comfort,” “humor,” and “delight.” Expanding on each of those synonyms helps me think more simply of ways to give the gift of joy to others during the course of a day.
- Play “Secret Santa” and leave an anonymous note telling a co-worker how they bless you
- If you see someone struggling to get a door open while juggling packages, with a smile, reach out and hold the door open
- Offer to bring a meal to a neighbor who is going through a rough time
- Don’t forget the words, “I’m sorry!” if you have offended or hurt someone – that will definitely be “good medicine” and bring healing and ultimately joy back to a relationship
- Give a familiar childhood toy (a Slinky, bottle of bubbles or a pinwheel) to bring a smile and a little humor into someone’s day
- Smile a lot, but also bring some laughter where you can – even laughing at yourself can lighten spirits
Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” We often mistakenly put the emphasis of this verse on the latter part (getting). Something very important comes first…delighting in the Lord. When we delight in him and who he is, we discover joy…and that God is, in fact, the greatest desire of our hearts. When we delight in the Lord, we also radiate that gift of joy to others. – Judi Brandow, Communications Specialist