Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Gospel Smile

A lot of people want a real smile, wear a fake smile, resent themselves for not smiling, & envy those who do smile. I used to have trouble smiling; but I smile a lot now. Here's why...
  • I smile because I don't feel guilty. Sure I've done lots of terrible, hurtful, destructive things. But Jesus has forgiven me and given me the chance to make most of them right again. So I smile because God has given me grace.

  • I smile because I've learned that God is real in Jesus Christ & Jesus loves me & is with me every second of every day in His Holy Spirit. So I smile because God is with me & loves me.

  • I smile because I see the big picture, both now & after my body dies. My heart breaks for the rape, murder, violence, & greed that tears people apart; & I work against it; but I also see that it's only temporary. The worst of the worst can only last a lifetime, which is hard but not really that long. So I smile because God's given me perspective & hope.

  • I smile because I realize that evil and death isn't God's fault or desire. I know that selfish independence produces evil in this world & that reconnecting with God & each other produces life. So I smile because I know God is good, although many experiences in this world are evil.

  • I smile because God protects & empowers those who join Him. He's done that throughout history, especially in the lives of those who are eager to make the biggest dent in this world for Good. Often these kinds of zealots suffer & die, but do so rejoicing with full-knowledge of the purpose in it. That must relate to the perspective thing. So I smile because God gives me power over and beyond the natural & shares His mission in this world with me.

  • I smile because God's been doing all this stuff for thousands of years & has created a community of people who smile together. So I smile because I'm connected in real, loving community.

God is eager to give every person the real smile that comes from life in Jesus. That's the Gospel message... the Gospel smile. When people find Jesus, they find their smile... guaranteed. "Taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psalm 34) Nothing to be ashamed of there, is there?


o2thoughtful said...

Thanks, I needed to be reminded of this right now.

Colin Lamm said...

Good, encouraging reminders. Thank you.

Adam Gonnerman said...

EXCELLENT! Thanks for the good thoughts. There is every reason to smile. It's easy to forget that.