I once knew a Christian who was always down in the dumps. I asked him, “Why don’t you have the joy of the Lord?” He replied, “I do! I’m very happy!” I said, “Tell your face!”
That conversation never really happened. But it could have. I know a lot of people who are very serious, intense, and joyless. Some people seem to wear a frown like a badge of honor.
It shouldn’t be that way. We need to learn to take God more seriously and to take ourselves less seriously. We need to learn to enjoy life.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “We are not to be perpetually solemn. We must play.”
I recently read in Psychology Today that “vigorous play turns on many genes in the brain, indicating growth of new neural connections. Play has been tied to increased cognitive flexibility and social responsivity, as well as improved emotional regulation.”
So there you have it, from two good sources: C.S. Lewis and Psychology Today.
Let me add a third source who wants you to lighten up: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Recovery Step: Recovery can be hard work. But it can also be fun. In fact, it should be fun. So lighten up. If you have the joy of the Lord, tell your face!