Good Medicine. . .

Careless driving, rising tempers, and use of profanity are a constant source of traffic fights across the country. However, recently I witnessed a different turn. A large truck was almost hit by a careless driver. I expected the truck drover to get angry and yell at the other driver, but he didn't. Instead, the truck driver relaxed his stern face and smiled broadly at the guilty-looking driver. And that very smile worked wonders. Wit a raised hand, the truck drover apologized, smiled back, and moved away- the tension averted.

A smile has a fascinating effect on our brain chemistry. Researchers have found that  when we smile it releases brain chemicals called endorphins which have an actual physiological relaxing effect. Not only can a smile diffuse a tense situation, but it can also diffuse tension within us. Our emotions affect us as well as others. The Bible teachers us to "get rid of bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another" (Ephesians 4:31-32).

When anger or tension or bitterness threatens our relationship with the Lord and with others, it will help to remember that a cheerful heart is good medicine for our own joy and well-being.