Some friends of ours were visiting the house a while back. When the mom informed her child it was time to go, he put his head down on a little table in our living room and let it be known he was not too happy about leaving. We all tried not to laugh. It was funny to watch. He just kept his head down.
Then, an idea hit me. I got down on my knees right beside him and put my head down on the same table. Without saying a word, I did the same thing he was doing. After a minute, he picked his head up, looked at me, and started laughing. It was good to see a smile return to his face.
When this happens, let's treat them right. We can show them kindness, lend them a listening ear, and grant therm encouragement. When we do this, we just may see a smile return to their faces as well.
Paul was on the receiving end of this. Some people were not exactly supportive of his ministry. But we see how one person made a positive impact on his life when Paul wrote "May The Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains" (2 Timothy 1:16). Though Paul was arrested and locked up, Onesiphorus blessed and "refreshed" him with encouragement and loyal friendship. And because of that, Paul had a reason to smile.
Here's a question for each of us to ask ourselves: Do I lead others to pain and tears, OR joy and smiles?
We all affect others with our deeds and words. Let's make sure we are a blessing to everyone we know. Let's make their lives just a little bit better and brighter. And when we do that, we just may end up smiling more ourselves!