“A cheerful look brings joy to the heart” (Proverb 15:30).
Sometimes, it’s the simple things that can make the biggest difference. Most of us want joy in our hearts, and we’d like to bring joy to others too if we can. The proverb above gives us a means of accomplishing both; but the question becomes, “What’s a cheerful look?”
At first glance, it may appear like we ought to simply smile more frequently – and, research actually supports that a smile definitely lifts the spirits (ours and others). But, the original language takes us deeper than a smile on the surface. “Bright eyes gladden the heart” is how the original would read. You see, while others may smile at us when we pass, their eyes will often tell a different story. Our eyes just aren’t very good liars!
As one commentator explained, “The beaming glance that shows a pure, happy mind and a friendly disposition, rejoices the heart of him on whom it is turned.” There is something infectious in the joyful look of a genuinely happy individual, which has a cheering effect upon those who observe it. That’s the impact we can have on others.
But, the proverb also hints at how to obtain that joy ourselves. The wording also very much teaches that what we choose to focus on impacts our outlook. When the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew into Greek, the proverb was worded this way, “The eye that sees what is good rejoices the heart.” Read in this manner, it conjures up Paul’s encouragement to focus on whatever is pure, good, lovely, praiseworthy, etc (Phil 4:8).
Want to be a well of joy? Focus your eyes on whatever is good, and then let your eyes reflect that joy to others. Oh, and smile more! 😉 –Dave
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