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Your Smile is not Inconsequential


Our verse for today comes from John 11:52, ” And not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad. “


Guillaume-Benjamin Duchenne was a French neurologist of the mid-1800’s. Convinced that the expressions of the human face were a gateway to the emotions of the soul, Duchenne believed that facial signs were a God-given language. He wrote, ” In the face, our creator was able in his wisdom to put any particular muscles into action when He wished the characteristic signs of the emotions to be written on man’s face. Once this language was created, it sufficed for Him to give all human beings the instinctive faculty of always expressing their sentiments by contracting the same muscles. This rendered the language universal and immutable. ” Duchenne discovered that smiles resulting from true happiness utilize not only the muscles of the mouth, which can be manipulated on cue, but also those of the eyes, which cannot be manipulated, resulting in what has become known as the Duchenne smile. Studies have shown that the occurrence of the Duchenne smile in one’s high school or college yearbook photo can be a future indicator of better health, happier marriages, greater satisfaction with life, and longer life. One study showed those who smiled least were five times more likely to get divorced at some point, and another concluded that smilers were only half as likely to die during any particular year as the non-smilers.


I know, it all sounds a little hokey, like something that would come from the science of the 1800’s. But these studies were done within the last ten years, and there’s now something called the Facial Action Coding System, which catalogues 3,000 different facial expressions by the exact combination of muscles used. A smile is a small thing, just as the life (and death) of one man in the annals of mankind is considered small. But the right life could change the world, and your small something could have huge effects, too. So, tough it out, or try again, or choose to ignore. Whatever it is, let God give significance to what might seem completely ordinary.


As we seek Him today, allow for God to reach in and sanctify what you might consider inconsequential or even totally dismiss.

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AuthorRich Holt | BCWorldview.org

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