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    Chapter 70—Cheerfulness

    The True Christian Will Be Cheerful—Do not allow the perplexities and worries of everyday life to fret your mind and cloud your brow. If you do, you will always have something to vex and annoy. Life is what we make it, and we shall find what we look for. If we look for sadness and trouble, if we are in a frame of mind to magnify little difficulties, we shall find plenty of them to engross our thoughts and our conversation. But if we look on the bright side of things, we shall find enough to make us cheerful and happy. If we give smiles, they will be returned to us; if we speak pleasant, cheerful words, they will be spoken to us again.AH 430.1

    When Christians appear as gloomy and depressed as though they thought themselves friendless, they give a wrong impression of religion. In some cases the idea has been entertained that cheerfulness is inconsistent with the dignity of the Christian character, but this is a mistake. Heaven is all joy; and if we gather to our souls the joys of heaven and, as far as possible, express them in our words and deportment, we shall be more pleasing to our heavenly Father than if we were gloomy and sad.AH 430.2

    It is the duty of everyone to cultivate cheerfulness instead of brooding over sorrow and troubles. Many not only make themselves wretched in this way, but they sacrifice health and happiness to a morbid imagination. There are things in their surroundings that are not agreeable, and their countenances wear a continual frown that, more plainly than words, expresses discontent. These depressing emotions are a great injury to them healthwise; for by hindering the process of digestion, they interfere with nutrition. While grief and anxiety cannot remedy a single evil, they can do great harm; but cheerfulness and hope, while they brighten the pathway of others, “are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”1The Signs of the Times, February 12, 1885.AH 430.3

    Mrs. White Was Cheerful in Adversity [Note: In 1867 Elder James White, who was in a critical condition following a paralytic stroke, was a patient at “Our Home,” in Dansville, New York. The doctor in charge of the institution regarded religion as a depressing influence and encouraged his patients to participate in various amusements for the purpose of making them cheerful. Mrs. White was solicited by one of the attendants to make a subscription for a dance and invited to bury her sorrows by attending. The words above indicate the nature of her reply to the suggestion.]—Do you ever see me gloomy, desponding, complaining? I have a faith which forbids this. It is a misconception of the true ideal of Christian character and Christian service that leads to these conclusions. It is the want of genuine religion that produces gloom, despondency, and sadness. Earnest Christians seek to imitate Jesus, for to be Christians is to be Christlike. It will be really essential to have correct conceptions of Christ's life, Christ's habits, that His principles may be reproduced in us who would be Christlike.AH 431.1

    A half service, loving the world, loving self, loving frivolous amusements, makes a timid, cowardly servant; he follows Christ a great way off. A hearty, willing service to Jesus produces a sunny religion. Those who follow Christ the most closely have not been gloomy. In Christ is light and peace and joy forevermore. We need more Christ and less worldliness, more Christ and less selfishness.2Manuscript 1, 1867.AH 431.2

    Walk as Children of Light—It is not the will of God that we should be gloomy or impatient, nor that we should be light and trifling. It is Satan's studied plan to push persons from one extreme to the other. As children of the light, God would have us cultivate a cheerful, happy spirit, that we may show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.3Australasian Union Conference Record, November 1, 1904.AH 432.1

    Winning the Affection of Children—Smile, parents; smile, teachers. If your heart is sad, let not your face reveal the fact. Let the sunshine from a loving, grateful heart light up the countenance. Unbend from your iron dignity, adapt yourselves to the children's needs, and make them love you. You must win their affection, if you would impress religious truth upon their heart.4Fundamentals of Christian Education, 68.AH 432.2

    Keep a Pleasant Countenance and Melodious Voice—Parents, be cheerful, not common and cheap, but be thankful and obedient and submissive to your heavenly Father. You are not at liberty to act out your feelings if things should arise that irritate. Winning love is to be like deep waters, ever flowing forth in the management of your children. They are the lambs of the flock of God. Bring your little ones to Christ. If parents would educate their children to be pleasant, they should never speak in a scolding manner to them. Educate yourself to carry a pleasant countenance, and bring all the sweetness and melody possible into your voice. The angels of God are ever near your little ones, and your harsh loud tones of fretfulness are not pleasant to their ears.5Manuscript 126, 1897.AH 432.3

    The mother should cultivate a cheerful, contented, happy disposition. Every effort in this direction will be abundantly repaid in both the physical well-being and the moral character of her children. A cheerful spirit will promote the happiness of her family and in a very great degree improve her own health.6The Ministry of Healing, 374.AH 432.4

    Lift the Shadows and Lighten the Task—Look upon matters in a cheerful light, seeking to lift the shadows that, if cherished, will envelop the soul. Cultivate sympathy for others. Let cheerfulness, kindness, and love pervade the home. This will increase a love for religious exercises, and duties large and small will be performed with a light heart.7The Signs of the Times, September 1, 1898.AH 433.1

    Cheerfulness Without Levity Is Christian Grace—We may have true Christian dignity and at the same time be cheerful and pleasant in our deportment. Cheerfulness without levity is one of the Christian graces.8Testimonies for the Church 4:62.AH 433.2

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