Tuesday, December 30, 2003
So how much would you pay for a piece of cardboard - $100, $500, $2,000? Actually, people do it all the time, if that cardboard is a valuable baseball card. Now, my sons have really profited from collecting that cardboard strategically. They tried to anticipate rookies who would be stars and bought their cards before there was much demand. Later, when lots of people wanted those cards and there weren't many to be found, our guys cleaned up. Our oldest son did so well that his cards actually helped pay his way through college. He didn't have any of those cards that sell for thousands. They're most valuable for one reason. There just aren't many of them. You have something like that.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Your Best Weapon is Your Teeth."
There's an asset that is increasingly rare in our world today, and if you have one, it will make you really valuable wherever you are. Apparently, the Old Testament leader, Nehemiah, was known for this asset. So much so, that his boss noticed when he didn't have it.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Nehemiah 2:1. Now, Nehemiah works for the king (he's the king's cup bearer), and he's pretty down because of news he's gotten about conditions back home. The Bible says, "I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before. So the king asked me, 'Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.'"
Nehemiah wasn't smiling - and apparently, that was an event. Remember, this is the man who said, "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). From the king's reaction, it appears that Nehemiah stood out at work for at least one big reason - his consistent smile.
A smile is a powerful, attention-getting witness for Jesus Christ. Remember, baseball cards are valuable when they're rare. Smiles are increasingly rare today. Just look around you. Most people are looking pretty joyless most of the time. I remember our daughter's first day of high school. She came home and she said, "No one smiles there!" So, we challenged her to try to change that, and she made it a personal mission to have her smile be her trademark. Years after she graduated, teachers would still tell us how they remembered her smile. And partly as a result of the joy on her face, she saw ten of her high school friends come to Christ.
Don is a businessman I know who was asked, "How can you be so positive all the time?" His smile opened the door for him to say, "Wouldn't you be happy if you'd just spent 30 minutes with the Creator of the universe?" People like this get to experience the life-giving scenario described in 1 Peter 3:15 - "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." Now, what's going to make people curious about what - or actually Who - makes you tick? Your hope, your positiveness, your smile.
And this kind of joy begins in Jesus' presence every morning, where you see your Lord being so much bigger than your circumstances. So, He determines your attitude for the day. And if you are the joyful one in your situation, you will inevitably have a chance to explain the relationship that brightens your life.
If you've ever wondered, "How can I get people interested in Jesus?", have you considered the power of a positive spirit where you work? Or at home? At school? Believe me, you'll stand out in a world where smiles are getting more rare, and more valuable, all the time. Each day, ask the Lord to help you be known for your joy - for His joy - radiating on your face. When it comes to attracting people to Christ, your best weapon may be your teeth!