“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10 NIV
They used to tell me during my training at Bank of America, “Smile. They can’t see your expression over the phone, but when you’re smiling it shows through your voice.” I’ve always put that tidbit of wisdom in my mind to retrieve later. It made sense even to twenty-something year old me, and it has stayed with me now at thirty-something. Recently, a comment reminded me that this saying is also true in the spiritual sense.
If we’re busy in our mind putting down something like the color of the carpet or someone’s actions, your dark thoughts will show on your expression. The small muscles in your face tense and your eyes will look too sharp. This makes a person unapproachable. At church, if my mind fills with angry thoughts, my husband tells me I look like I am in a less than worshipful mood. How can I serve on days like that if I am too busy focusing on what I want rather than what others need?
So when I began instructing people on how to reach out to others, I said, “Smile. Make eye contact. Be approachable.”
A person seeking a friend is only going to see my closed expression as I put down things or people, and they will keep their cares to themselves. They will go somewhere else. So the wisdom that Bank of America has taught me during those younger years are still true today, but with a slight alteration:
“Smile. You may not agree with someone or something, but when you’re smiling and focused on others you’re less apt to complain about trivial matters.”
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